Making Sense of App Store Reviews

by Developer.com Staff

iOS users like to leave positive reviews, but their written comments don't always match their star ratings.

Russian data analysis firm and mobile development firm Empatika has conducted a study of App Store reviews and rankings, and it offers some interesting insights for app developers. First, Empatika found that iOS users greatly prefer to leave positive reviews. A majority of App Store reviewers--52 percent--have posted only positive reviews. Forty-three percent have posted both positive and negative reviews, but only 5 percent have written only negative reviews. Empatika co-founder Bayram Annakov says this finding suggests that mobile developers should look to reviews in places other than the App Store if they want to know what they need to improve.

Second, the study found that the content of a review does not match the star rating 70 percent of the time. For example, one reviewer wrote, "I liked the concept behind it, but this app crashes every couple of minutes. Complete unusable." Inexplicably, that reviewer gave the app five stars. Because of that phenomenon, Annakov recommends that developers ignore their apps' star ratings and instead use sentiment analysis to build word clouds that show what users are really saying about apps.

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This article was originally published on Monday Oct 8th 2012
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