PR firms posting five star reviews in App Store & Forums

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by FearlessFreep, Aug 24, 2009.

  1. FearlessFreep macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 15, 2008
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    Northern Virginia, USA
    #1
  2. vettori macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 10, 2008
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    Italy, near Venice
    #2
    Wow, now I'm sad.

    I always said the review system has to be fixed but how can you fix this ?
     
  3. countrydweller macrumors 6502

    countrydweller

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    Jul 16, 2009
    #3
    They need to give us a short trial period, try before you buy, can do it lots of other places.
     
  4. mhuntoon macrumors member

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    Jun 23, 2009
    #4
    Bingo!

    Not just a lite version, but a fully functional version that expires after 7, 14, 21 days (whatever). Enough to let us play with it and then decide. Adobe, for example, has been doing this for years. If you try to go in and get another "trial" version, it won't allow it. I'm sure if they've been doing this for years, iTunes and app developers can figure out a similar way to make things good for the consumer while also protecting the developers' interests.
     
  5. return7 macrumors 6502

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    Oct 8, 2008
    #5
    Maybe 1 day trial (would probably kill game sales tho, I gotta say..) and maybe 1 day before one could post a review. Maybe even allow devs to respond to reviews to help users (PLEASE!!). The Pinch Media data from a few months back (was on TUAW IIRC) showed most apps are opened an average of 1.2 times. Lots of buyer's remorse, I imagine.
     
  6. mhuntoon macrumors member

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    Jun 23, 2009
    #6
    I'd suggest the try-before-you-buy thing be added for apps exceeding a set amount, such as $9.99. If you're getting something for .99 and you hate it, it's not a huge loss. Then again, someone rushing total garbage out for .99 hoping to make a gajillion sales before people realize how bad it is (thanks to using the PR system mentioned in the OP) could make some serious coin.

    I guess it comes down to developers insisting they'd like to have a try-before-you-buy policy (assuming Apple currently disallows this, which may be completely off base) and then users, like us, posting reviews in forums like this. Word of mouth is always the best form of advertising, it's just that global word of mouth can be difficult with a virtual world. As with most forums I follow, however, I can usually spot the spambots pretty quickly and, over time, you get to know whose opinion you can trust (and generally agree with) and whose you can't.
     
  7. vettori macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    I have built lite version for most of my apps but with current rules it's hard to create a lite version !
    For example, while it was easy to create a lite version for my Music Library Quiz and Italian Video Recipes apps, the lite version of ABContacts is really another app since I can't follow Apple rules to create it.

    I think that trials version instead of lite version would be better (and also easy for us developers to implement since the trial should be handled by the OS so we don't have to maintain two version for each app).

    But I suppose that with trials many, many, many apps, especially 0.99 apps will not sell a copy anymore. Maybe this is a good thing for developers that are building useful apps (less clutter on the app store) but probably Apple has another opinion :p

    Trials also probably have the effect of raising the average prices of apps but this too will probably help us developers to build better apps.

    It seems to me however that the app store is oriented to numbers (quantity of apps, sells, ...) instead of quality. So I don't think trials will be added at least not in the near future.
     
  8. sinsin07 macrumors 68030

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    Mar 28, 2009
    #8
    I never look at five star reviews, how do I know the developer does not have a large family or a lot of friends. A look at some of these five star reviews and they read to good to be true. I look at most critical and then most recent and then decide from there.

    (If some of these developers are using PR firms, they need to find ones that speaketh and writa the inglish well :))
     
  9. mhuntoon macrumors member

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    Jun 23, 2009
    #9
    Why? If it looks too canned, it's probably a PR firm. If I owned a PR firm and wanted to be hired to do this, I'd make a spelling/grammatical error once in awhile and I'd never be too praising of the app. Instead, I'd find something that no one really cares about (like the app button, for example) and criticize it. That way, when people read it, they assume it's not from a friend or family member who, surely, would never find a single fault with the app.

    Hate to be cynical, but I simply don't trust most reviews. Hence, I rarely purchase expensive apps, unless I personally know someone who raves about it or I've had a chance to see it firsthand.
     
  10. sinsin07 macrumors 68030

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    #10
    This not criticism, however I do not understand the statement above. What would be the reason a PR firm gave a 1 star critical review?
     
  11. mhuntoon macrumors member

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    Jun 23, 2009
    #11
    I never said they'd give a one star review. Obviously, that defeats their purpose. An occasional 4-star review with a minor criticism that most people would read and feel the reviewer was being too harsh about maybe, but I meant that they would give 5-star reviews, but try to appear as though they were just "Joe or Sally Lunchpack" by maybe misspelling a word or saying something like "get a new logo" as the biggest form of criticism. Meld these in with other canned 5-star reviews and it suddenly appears that an app is extremely popular and that not all app reviews are coming from family and friends because, heck one of them didn't like the background color or the logo or something else most people could care less about.

    I, in no way, meant to suggest that a PR firm would give bad reviews, I simply meant imperfect reviews would appear more realistic. Sadly, I'm sure that's already happening which is why I (and countless others) hold off before making a purchase more often than not. I'd rather read what people here have to say, as well as talk to friends, read professional reviews, etc before taking the plunge on something I'm not already determined to buy.

    A try-before-you-buy model would eliminate this cynicism and caution by allowing us, as consumers, to try to product and make an honest evaluation before choosing to plunk down our hard-earned money or pass.
     
  12. sinsin07 macrumors 68030

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    Mar 28, 2009
    #12
    I was not attempting to make a stab at you. I did not understand your train of thought. I agree with some of your statements above, and that is why I start with the one star reviews and of course MR.
     
  13. kas23 macrumors 603

    kas23

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    Oct 28, 2007
    #13
    If they are willing to post fabricated 5-star reviews for their own product, I wouldn't put it past them to post fabricated 1-star reviews for obvious competitors.
     
  14. FearlessFreep thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Northern Virginia, USA
    #14
    Absolutely. I'm certain it works both ways.
     

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