We’re pleased to announce that we’ll soon kick off a beta program for PokéStop nominations This beta will allow Trainers to submit locations for possible inclusion in Pokémon GO, giving Trainers the opportunity to recommend the landmarks, parks, and various other interesting sites that represent what they consider to be great locations to play our games. We’re incredibly excited to see the enthusiasm and hard work that will come from our Trainers in Brazil and South Korea, and we can’t wait for even more Trainers around the world to eventually contribute.
Because our process still requires a significant amount of human participation, we made the decision to roll out PokéStop nominations slowly at first, to Brazil and South Korea only. We selected these countries for two key reasons. First, both locations have high numbers of Trainers relative to PokéStops, which means the Trainers’ hard work has the most potential to make an immediate impact in these communities by providing more high-quality PokéStops with which to engage. Second, limiting the number of participants to just these two areas will help allow nominations to be processed in a timely manner. In essence, the size of these countries, and their opportunity for development made them strong candidates.
In terms of the PokéStop nomination process itself, many familiar with Operation Portal Recon (OPR) will find the beta program similar. In order to manage the inflow, nominations will initially be open to Trainers that have already reached Level 40. Over time, we may open nominations to more players, descending by level to prioritize players who have invested significant time and dedication in Pokémon GO or possibly expanding to Level 40 players in other countries. But as of this time, there’s still a lot to evaluate before any decisions to expand this program will be made.
We want these new PokéStops to be authentic and interesting, and we believe our players have a unique sense of what makes a great PokéStop. So, Trainers who submit a nomination will be able to take photos of the surrounding area to provide us with more information. Additionally, there is an opportunity for the Trainer to share why they believe it’s a point of interest worth including in the game, so they can illustrate their thought process directly to the approval committee.
These nominations will then be assessed for eligibility, and approved by experienced OPR users who have been vetted and educated on Niantic’s approval requirements. Once a nomination passes all reviews, it may be added to the Niantic Real World Platform and eligible to appear in-game, although this doesn’t necessarily mean it will appear in Pokémon GO.
Thank you, players, for your hard work and dedication to making our products the best they can be. We are working to improve this process and we will take the learnings from this beta program to create an even richer nomination process for our players around the world.
–Jane Degtiareva, Senior Software Engineer