Pokemon GO adding stickers, friend invites for raids

This week the folks at Niantic revealed that they'd be adding new social networking features to Pokemon GO in the near future. One of the several changes that'll come to Pokemon GO "later this month" is the ability to invite in-game friends to Pokemon Raid Battles. This feature was previously announced to be coming "soon" – now it's been tipped to be released by the end of the month of June.

The ability to invite friends to raids will be "rolling out soon" according to Niantic. With the feature, users will find a plus button (+) in raid lobbies aplenty. If you're in a public raid lobby or if you're in a private raid lobby, just so long as you've "joined in person" (not remotely) you'll be able to tap the + button. With the button, you'll be able to invite "up to five friends to join you."

With this feature, you'll be able to invite people to a raid that are not in the area, physically. The person doing the inviting will need to be close enough to the location of the raid, really, truly on the map, GPS-wise – but invited friends will not.

With the invitations from the person already in the raid lobby, friends will be allowed to enter the raid lobby. Users will still need to use a Raid Pass to enter the raid, but only once the battle starts. Friends can join the raid lobby without actually joining the raid.

Niantic also noted this week that they'll be adding STICKERS to the Gift Giving process in Pokemon GO. The stickers will cost money – of course – but the first sticker pack is free. "When the feature is rolled out, you'll get a set of stickers for free," wrote a Niantic representative.

At launch, the sticker collection will be relatively small. There'll be a total of five stickers available. Naintic also wrote "you can use a sticker only once, so be sure to stock up on more by opening Gifts." Does this mean that a sticker that you receive from a friend can then... be used on another gift? We've reached out to Niantic for more answers – stay tuned!