September 13, 2018
Celebrating World Cleanup Day, Locally and Around the World


On September 15, people all over the world will come together for World Cleanup Day - a day that encourages the world’s citizens to help clean up trash in their local communities. As a technology company with millions of players around the world, we’re committed to keeping the Earth clean and finding ways to reduce waste and increase positive impact. In fact, through our social impact initiatives, we’ve prioritized campaigns focused on sustainability, along with personal wellness, and education.

But it’s not just employees at Niantic that seek to make the world a better place. Our players have already made a significant positive impact in the communities where they live, from Ingress Mission Days, events with the National Park Foundation and GORUCK run Ingress events, to our massive Earth Day cleanup. No matter the location or game, players have helped make the world a cleaner, more livable place through their own self-propelled initiatives.

During this year’s World Cleanup Day, we want to celebrate the communities that we know so well - both around the world and in the local neighborhoods where we have offices. We find that real impact starts at the grassroots level, and that supporting local nonprofits lifts up the entire community. Niantic is excited to announce that we will donate to a local cleanup NGO in each of the communities where we have offices - 8 locations around the world in total. The benefitting NGOs are:

In addition to our local giving campaign, we want to celebrate the players who love their communities and are hosting their own cleanup initiatives. If you’re participating in a cleanup event during this year’s World Cleanup Day, we’d love to hear about it! You can tell us about your event here, which includes sections to record your group impact and the total trash collected. Let's roll up our own sleeves, clean up our local communities, and see how much of a positive impact we can have together!

Happy World Cleanup Day!

—Yennie Solheim Fuller, Social Impact

September 12, 2018
Developer Insights: Engaging Player Participation in our new PokéStop Nomination Program

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

September 12, 2018
Your Neighborhood, Your Game Board

Over the last eight years, our community of players have explored the four corners of the globe and, more importantly, the far reaches of their very own neighborhoods. There’s nothing better than the feeling of seeing a PokéStop or Gym in Pokémon GO or a Portal in Ingress, and making a slight detour to discover a beautiful piece of art, historical marker or amazing public landmark hidden in plain sight.

Fostering these moments of discovery and exploration is the foundation of what we do. The world is a big place, and the only way we can find the very best locations for inclusion in our game is with the help of our players.

We’re now expanding with PokéStop nominations to Pokémon GO with an initial beta test in South Korea and Brazil. This will be the first time Trainers will be able to directly submit locations within Pokémon GO. This new feature will initially be available for only Level 40 Trainers (child accounts excluded) in the beta regions but may expand to more Trainers or locations over time. The same group of veteran real-world players approving locations and their respective photos and descriptions in Operation Portal Recon (OPR) will review these submissions. We know fans worldwide are eager to expand locations in their areas and we’ll continue to monitor the PokéStop nomination beta and potentially expand to other areas when possible.

Your neighborhood is your game board, and you know best what makes your neighborhood unique and special! We’re looking forward to bringing a new and exciting in-game location to you soon.