Niantic finally shared more information on PokéStop submission and reviews. @NianticHelp tweeted that “they’re working on a way to enable submissions in the future”:
Thanks for your tweet! We're not accepting PokéStop suggestions now, but are working on a way to enable submissions in the future. ^TR https://t.co/ZD3tC4SOnk
— Niantic Support (@NianticHelp) May 22, 2017
Following up on the success of Ingress Portal review tool (OPR, Open Portal Recon) it’s fairly safe to assume that Niantic could release a similar tool for Pokémon GO, targeting high level Pokémon GO players.
Don’t take our word for granted, as Niantic is known to delay infrastructural changes for quite a while, plus, OPR has influenced both Ingress and Pokémon GO.
However, OPR has proven as a solid, well tested tool, that managed to significantly reduce the backlog of previously submitted Ingress portals. Despite that, Niantic still doesn’t allow submitting new Ingress portals, but it has been announced that portal submissions should be coming back in the months to come.
It’s safe to assume that Pokémon GO could follow a similar pattern to Ingress:
- OPR gets rebranded in something aligned with the Pokémon brand
- High level players are granted access (39+ is a fair estimate)
- OPR-like tool helps Niantic clear out the immense backlog and review future submissions
- A few months later, PokéStop submissions become available again
Community has reacted cautiously to this Tweet, mostly due to previous experience with Niantic’s approach to portals/PokéStops:
As others have said, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting. However, hopefully they are actually actively working and working on a robust system. I’m hoping they implement the Portal Recon for POGO, have a limited number of refreshing submissions for every player, and increase the refresh rate for active Portal Recon contributors in good standing (ie. not just accepting/denying everything they come across). Example. every player gets 1 submission a month, by participating in reviews you can bump this up to 5. – source
Problems of player submitted PokéStops
Those who have access to Ingress OPR tool know how bad submissions can be. Players tend to invent stories, take pictures of themselves, their dogs and their gardens, all in hope of getting a portal next to their house.
However, as portals (and PokéStops) need to be publicly available, none of these will ever be approved.