Though it may not look it at times, it’s important to remember that Pokemon GO is still very young development wise. Developer Niantic is constantly adding, subtracting, and fine-tuning much of its process, and looking for new wise to keep the Pokemon GO experience alive.
Pokemongohub.net has recently data mined the newest update, and appears to have discovered a section of code that refers to a “Buddy System”, likely referring to the anime with Ash and Pikachu. What does this “Buddy System” do? Well, according to them:
“In short, here’s what we know:
Pokemon Buddy System is using the same server side distance calculation as the one used for Pokemon Eggs
Walking your Pokemon Buddy will award you with candy. The amount of candy is yet to be determined.
You can walk the same Pokemon Buddy multiple times, but there is likely a daily limit for obtained candy
You can walk with only one Buddy Pokemon at a time
There are various looks of Buddy Pokemon:
Flying next to you
Rests on your shoulder”
Niantic of course has not commented on this, but with all the changes the game has gone through recently, it may only be a matter of time.