Study: Apple update increases app ratings by 15%

Dive Brief:

  • Apple's latest feature to make it easier for iPhone users to rate apps is driving a big increase in reviews while improving the quality of user comments, according to an Apptentive study made available to Mobile Marketer.
  • Since Apple rolled out its SKStoreReviewController API, Apptentive found that the median number of app ratings has risen 15%. The increase shows that people are much more likely to rate an app as a result of having a better in-app experience and when it's made easy to rate, according to the study.
  • Meanwhile, iPhone users also like Apple's introduction of controls to disable review prompts. More than one in five users are opting out of the review dialogs or not seeing them anymore. The opt-out lowers the risk of getting a negative review from consumers who are annoyed at seeing constant requests to rate an app.

Dive Insight:

A good app review doesn’t necessarily guarantee success in the App Store or on Google Play — just look at the poor reviews for Facebook or any major bank with millions of customers — but it can help smaller app makers to get noticed among the millions of apps that vie for user attention.

Apptentive said it was previously thought that Android users were more vocal than iOS users, with Apple Store apps averaging 124 ratings and Google Play Store's averaging 1,173. Now, the study says that that gap in ratings may be attributed to the barrier customers face in rating apps. To rate in Google Play, a smartphone user is required to click on five buttons, while iOS users previously had eight. Apple’s iOS 10.3 update reduced this app review process to just one click, making it faster and easier for customers to provide detailed feedback.

The ease of providing a review can make or break an app. Star ratings have a big effect on whether people choose to download an app, with 46% of respondents reporting the minimum average rating they consider acceptable is four stars. Meanwhile, 77% of respondents said they read at least one review before downloading a free app, and 80% before downloading a paid app. Making the app rating system easier should help developers respond to customer complaints and improve their products.

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Filed Under: Apps Tech and platform developments
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