It’s been a while since we have heard from Niantic. Not that Niantic has been very communicative, to begin with. It’s been about two weeks since they last updated us on what’s going on. Almost three since the last Niantic even updated the game. This typically means the developers are busy with something big.
More than likely it means they are still working on trading and battling, but there seems to be a missing feature still. The friend system is actually very important in all of this. Niantic could probably get around trading and battling without a friend system, but it would be complicated and hold almost no meaning.
So why is the friend feature important for the longly anticipated trading and battling systems? Well, for battling anyways, it will bring friendly encounters. Everyone likes showing off to their friends. Trading with friends will allow for quicker trades, possibly quicker battles for that matter.
Friends will be there to help each other out where as a global trading system will be completely unbalanced. Several people will make up ridiculous requests. Not to mention if you wanted to trade with a friend, you wouldn’t need to go through the hassle of creating a trade.