Update: Niantic is teasing another update today showing future improvements for gyms. Trainers will now be able to take up to 6 Pokémon into friendly gyms to train, while the CP of the other players will scale to their team. Both the improvements to gyms and medals will likely release in one combined update at a later date.
Original Story (October 6 at 12:04 PM):
Niantic is teasing a new feature heading to Pokémon Go. While not as substantial as the recent buddy system, soon medals you earn will influence other parts of the game such as capture rates, increasing your odds to catch Pokémon of the same type as well as rare ones.
The medals you get for catching a certain amount of Pokémon will affect the capture rates of their type. For example, capturing a ton of fire type Pokémon will make it easier to catch more of the same type. Dual type Pokémon will get an average of the bonuses. As of right now, the update has no firm release date.
Additionally, Pokémon Go became available in 31 more countries as Niantic continues to roll it out worldwide. The app has been such a success that the Pokémon Go Plus accessory sold out within days of launch.
It’s good to see Niantic be more communicative and even being ahead of the curve instead of playing catch-up. Having the medals finally do something might bring more people back, but it seems many are waiting for the next generation of Pokémon to be available instead.