New social features and updates for in-person raids coming to Pokémon GO

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Niantic has announced that a selection of new social features will be made available in Pokémon GO over the next few months. The features are designed to do a few things: 

  • help bring people together to enjoy Pokémon GO,
  • provide new bonuses for participating in local raid battles,
  • and changes to items in the in-game shop (weekly 1 PokéCoin box).

The new social features have been tested over time and will be available in Pokémon GO sometime in the next few months.

Some of these features are based on the Niantic’s hidden social app that was used to test several community features with a group of Ingress Agents over the last few months:

Niantic Launches Social App Experience in Closed Beta to Select Ingress Agents

Key features of the Niantic’s social app included:

  • Local #Communities: Easily find other players by creating local communities around you.
  • Niantic Friends: Easily add and manage your friends and fellow Agents in Ingress, and across all Niantic titles.
  • Direct & Group Messaging: Organize all your chats with friends in one place, and coordinate Field Ops.
  • Real-World Events: Quickly create and share local events, farms, or meetups with reminders, and invite your community to join and play!

The general idea is that these features should make it easier for Trainers to communicate with each other, discover new communities, and enjoy local raid battles.

Niantic has confirmed their commitment to rural players as well: “To support players who have difficulty reaching Gyms, we will continue to work on solutions such as tools for community leaders to organize local events and faster approval for new Gyms.”

Local raid battles to provide more bonuses

As of this month, Mega Energy and Rare Candy XL are available as rewards for completing local raid battles, making it easier to evolve and strengthen your Pokémon.

Also, starting on May 23, the shop’s 1 PokéCoin Event Box will no longer include Remote Raid Passes and will instead feature a rotating array of items.

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