(Un)believable App Store reviews

September 8, 2009
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Anonymity of any kind always merits a yellow flag, if not a red one, and it’s causing problems on Apple’s booming App Store, the online site where applications can be downloaded for the popular iPhone.

Increasingly, anonymous comments about the 65,000 applications are coming under fire for being, well, less than authentic.

The blog MobileCrunch reported late last month that a PR firm is ginning sales for its app developer clients by hiring interns to write positive reviews while posing as actual users.

The comments have never been pure, but, as Business Week reports, the pressure to score big hits is rising as the list of potential applications dwindles.

How do you feel about anonymous comments at the App Store—or anywhere else for that matter? How much stock to you place in them?


  • Great piece, Norm! Good comments are good comments whether they are manufactured or not. Keep in mind, competitors can make comments in the same forum and often do. I value comments because descriptions of the app that Apple allows rarely describe user experience. I also think most people can detect a line of BS when they see it. A teenager is likely not going to write on and on about a waverunner game. So as long as what interns write is accuratt doesn't even qualify as spin in my book.
  • But hasn't this been the case at most online retailers for years? It's truly a "buyer beware" situation when it comes to believing any online product reviews or ratings. It's certainly no better at Apple's Itunes store; most of the music "reviews" read like they were written by a major label PR wonk.

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