Niantic has extended access to Operation Portal Recon (OPR) to Level 15 and Level 16 Ingress Agents worldwide (Google+ source), resulting in a large increase of Ingress Agents with access to the tool. Additionally, a new tiered in-game medal has been introduced to incentivise Agents to use OPR.
As we already know, a lot of changes that happen in Ingress through OPR, soon appear in Pokémon GO. Historically, it seems that new Portals are imported in Pokémon GO every Tuesday evening (GMT), which explains the continuous influx of new and updated PokéStops and Gyms worldwide.
In terms of metrics, Niantic has shared the following:
- 4.2m Candidates Remain
- 1.9m Candidates Analyzed
- 432k Portals rejected
- 182k New Portals introduced to the Portal network
Over the past few months, Niantic has been beta testing OPR, only allowing “experienced” Ingress agents to review portal candidates in an area roughly 300 KM around them. Now, players who are not max level also have a chance to review submissions and influence the fate of portal candidates.
It will be very exciting to see how this affects Pokémon GO, as it’s expected that the new wave of OPR Agents and the potential of getting a new medal will result in a significant reduction of the backlog.
Do note that it’s currently still not possible to submit new portal requests, similar to how it’s not possible to submit new PokéStop requests. All of the portals in the backlog are previously submitted, which means that they only affect areas where Ingress was a popular game.
If you’re not lucky enough to live in an area of interest to Ingress agents, it’s likely that you won’t be seeing any new or updated Portals/PokéStops. Unfortunately, this mostly affects players in rural areas, as Ingress was also notoriously more popular in urban areas.