On the importance of reviews and how developers can abuse them

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by vettori, Apr 21, 2011.

  1. vettori, Apr 21, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2011

    vettori macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    Location:
    Italy, near Venice
    #1
    Dear Macrumors readers,
    I didn't want to let this become public but it's so funny (and sad)... I can't resist.

    Our app Group Text! is going very well and it's having very positive reviews on the App Store. Since a couple months, the main competitor is an app called "Text Bomb". I usually monitor competitors. This developer was changing the prices every day from $1.99 to $.99 to get more visibility. They're also using a lot of fake accounts to leave five star reviews on top of the bad ones (all one star so the app probably has some issue).
    Now they're stick to $.99 but here comes the funny and sad part.

    This morning I noticed a one-star review for our app and guess what ? The review is from one of these fake accounts. After a couple hours looking for their email on the website to ask them to stop doing this I notice a review they claim to be for their app... It sounds me familiar.. you guessed. It's a review for our app (same text).

    Now I'm pretty angry and I'm not sure what I should do. Obviously since a one-star review counts a lot more than the other 20 five stars, our app is dropping in the top productivity list. Mission accomplished. The app was around 25-30. Now it's around 40 after just a few hours.

    Funny and sad at the same time. See the attachments for reviews and web site.

    Any comment ?
     

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  2. LifeInLoFi macrumors member

    LifeInLoFi

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Location:
    Dallas/Fort Worth
    #2
    Even funnier is that they left all the fake latin greeked text in their website. Or maybe this developer is from fake Rome....

    Seriously, in researching app reviews for my blog, it irritates me when I find shady developers using tactics such as these. Not only do they game the app review system, undermining how it's supposed to work, but these tactics by lazy or shady developers waste valuable App Store chart positioning and hurt the developers of quality apps who play by the rules.

    =M=
     
  3. vettori thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    Location:
    Italy, near Venice
    #3
    50 copies less than average yesterday.
    Why is people giving so much importance to a single bad review when there are a lot of them that are very positive.
     
  4. LifeInLoFi macrumors member

    LifeInLoFi

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Location:
    Dallas/Fort Worth
    #4
    Maybe they think your positive real reviews are fake and your one fake bad review is real. I see it all the time with photo apps from sketchy developers who use their allotment of promo codes to rate themselves 5 stars and write thin but positive reviews.

    I think users may feel a little burned after falling for some of those shill reviews.

    A while back, I got hacked off at this and wrote a story on how to spot a "shill" review. It's written for iPhone photo apps, but it's the same for any app in the App Store.

    http://lifeinlofi.com/2010/10/29/how-to-spot-an-app-store-shill-review/

    (My apologies in advance to the moderators if this link is disallowed, but it's really not self-serving and is relevant to this thread.)

    =M=
     
  5. vettori thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    Location:
    Italy, near Venice
    #5
    The entire review system is flawed, or, it works only for apps with thousands reviews... Now I sent an email to Apple about this, we'll see what happens.
     
  6. vettori thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    Location:
    Italy, near Venice
    #6
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_2 like Mac OS X; it-it) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8H7 Safari/6533.18.5)

    I just noticed that this genius also left one-star reviews for a few other apps that were before his app in the top 25. Want to climb to the top?
     

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