2021 Playback and Roadmap Update

[Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0 ✭✭

Hi Fam!

Wow, where did the time go? 

Thank you all for another great year of community mapping! We’ve had an amazing year of awesome updates, new features, and team changes. I wanted to share some end of year global highlights from 2021:

Your contributions

  • 138K new Explorers joined the community
  • 1.95M Wayspots approved (out of 5.1M nominations submitted)
  • 679K Wayspot edits approved (out of 1.5M edits submitted)
  • 45K Wayspot reports approved (out of 459K reports submitted)

Pokémon GO Submission Features

  • We added an image gallery on Pokéstops and the ability for you to submit more lovely photos to the gameboard. In total you added 313K photos to your Wayspots!
  • We added the ability to defer and manage upload of your scans and photo contributions so that you could do so when you had better Wi-Fi. We’re seeing 25% of you choose to defer your scans and 10% to defer your photo submissions. Glad it’s been useful.
  • We added a category question to the nominations flow and Edit menu so that you could give reviewers a little more context on what type of location you are nominating. We’re still crunching the numbers on that, but we’re seeing roughly thousands of category labels coming in per day.
  • We also expanded the max daily contribution quotas and converted the accruals to daily rather than fortnightly. 
  • We added nearby Lightship Wayspots in the nominations map so you can check for duplicates before deciding to nominate.

New Email Branding

We totally revamped the look and feel of the notification emails you receive with respect to the status of your contributions to reduce confusion for new Explorers that may think they are contributing to a specific game, rather than to Lightship. We also polished up the messaging and provided a direct link to get back to the website for further contribution management.

New Onboarding Flow

We delivered a new onboarding experience that includes receiving a welcome email when you reach eligibility in-game, an entire new onboarding walkthrough of the Wayfarer website for new users, and (soon, in January) locking down submission features in Pokékmon GO until you have passed the Wayfarer quiz. We also removed the limit on the number of quiz attempts because we think practice makes perfect. 

Nomination Appeals

We added the rejection reasons to your nomination details in the website, and added the ability to appeal a rejected nomination back to Niantic (we still can’t guarantee a response time right now, but we’ve added a rate limit and will monitor how that process is going - thanks for all your feedback thus far). 

Infamous Bugs/Famous Fixes

  • The “.” rejection reason and associated mythology!
  • Disappearing nominations when in review by Niantic, and associated mythology!

Community Engagement

  • Tintino and Danbocat joined the community
  • Wayfarer challenges in India, Russia and Brazil
  • Brazil: over 10k participants & 17k new Wayspots added
  • Russia: over 13k participants & 8k new Wayspots added
  • India: over 11k participants & 4k new Wayspots added
  • Adding an abuse chat tool within Wayfarer’s website for anonymous and private abuse reporting. 

What’s next?

I’m really excited for what’s in store for the first half of 2022! Bear in mind that a lot of these new features will depend on our team’s growth, which we are actively working on!

Firstly, we haven’t forgotten about Ingress! 

As I’ve mentioned in the past, we started with features in Pokémon GO first because we were in a queue with the Ingress team to bring those same features to Ingress players. We are now at the front of the line. So in late Jan/Feb we’ll be shipping:

  • Deferred uploads (for scans and photos) and upload management
  • Expanding the max daily contribution quotas and moving to daily accrual rate
  • Revised onboarding flow that locks submission features until you have passed the Wayfarer quiz

Other in-game features I’m trying to push for toward the summer (but not confirmed) are:

  • Adding the duplicates check in Ingress nominations flow
  • Wayspot reporting feature in Pikmin Bloom

For the website

  • We’ll be switching your Wayfarer profile name and photo to your Niantic ID profile name and photo. Your Niantic ID is like your central profile across all the Niantic products you use. More information about the Niantic ID portal will be announced by that team on the Niantic blog in January. 
  • More improvements to the Nominations Management page, including the ability to HOLD a contribution that is pending review if you decide you want to edit or delete it later; ability to better manage your Upgrades; and displaying your edit contributions as well.
  • More than 75% of a new Explorer's first nomination gets rejected which can be very discouraging. So we want to treat your first few nominations differently than ones you’ll do later, to let you ‘trial run’ the entire experience and learn early on how to succeed.
  • Re-tuning how cooldowns work to remove false positives on spammy behavior (no details yet, sorry)
  • Updating the rejection reasons to eliminate the discrepancies and confusion between the reporting options in-game and rejection options in the review flow. And delivering fun education tools to help understand the criteria.
  • Speeding up decisions through things like more background signaling to remove coal from the submissions served to you for review.
  • A new review experience that feels lighter and more enjoyable to do (also replacing the confusing star-based questions)
  • A design refresh!

General Plans (still working out the details and timing)

  • Separating your GDPR data deletion request from the games (so that you can keep your Wayfarer account and stats, even if you’ve deleted your data from the games).
  • Introducing trusted user types and user ranks that unlock Wayfarer features as your rank up. 
  • A new reward type (besides earning Upgrades via reviews)
  • Internal discussions on anti-cheat mechanics and improvements to the trust and safety experiences within the community. 

Community Engagement led by @NianticTintino !

  • Swag?!
  • New type of Wayfarer challenge, likely focussed on submissions
  • New engagement methods for continuously recalibrating and retraining together on the criteria
  • Wayfarer Ambassadors!
  • Wayfarer Twitter account, which I’m personally very excited to use for outreach to folks not often in the Forum
  • More AMAs
  • And much more. Stay tuned! 

Message from your Community Manager @NianticTintino

Hello Explorers! What an exciting last couple of months! It’s been great getting to be your Community Manager, be a part of the Wayfarer Team, and get to know more about what excites you about Wayfarer and exploration. I can’t wait for all of the new things coming in 2022 such as the new Twitter account, awesome swag, the new Wayfarer Challenges, and ways to make the Wayfarer Community Forum safe, exciting, and educational for all. I’m particularly excited about our Wayfarer Ambassador program and all of the great things we’ll be able to do. ¡Felices Fiestas y Próspero Año Nuevo!

On the Wayfarer App you’ve been asking about for years…

Know that I’m working hard internally to make this happen. I think the first version will be with a limited set of features for submissions. If we are a ‘go’ on this, I will be opening a window of opportunity for some of you to beta test with us! Stay tuned. 

Well that’s it.

I hope this leaves you with excitement! Know that our team really and truly appreciates the dedication and fun you bring to this global community mapping project. There’s no other comparable community of enthusiasts. Thank you for being critical, being respectful, and being dedicated to making the real-world your gameboard. We can’t wait to engage with you more next year and continue to be a part of your adventures. Please stay safe and have a happy holiday season!


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