There has been quite a buzz around “Rate this app” topic. While you may think it is really bad for the whole industry and user experience, it is certainly good for an app.
I will give you an explicit explanation as to why I am saying this, letting the numbers speak. But first, there are two main problems:
1) People read comments.
What’s more, they make a decision whether to buy an app or not, based on ratings and reviews, especially if it is $6.99 app. Our daily sales could easily drop up to 30% whenever we launch a new version of the app that resets all the comments and ratings.
2) People who are happy with the app are not likely to leave a review.
As an example, only 40(!) people left their reviews for Scanner Pro yesterday out of 330K who downloaded it (numbers are given for the US App Store).
Kindly ask people to spend their 30 seconds and share their experience with a product.
Scanner Pro case.
Yesterday, our Scanner Pro was downloaded 1.150.000 times (featured by Apple as App of the Week). A very small fraction of iPhone 4S users who run iOS 7 on their devices and have low memory witnessed Scanner’s Pro crash. I’m not saying it is acceptable in any way to have 0.5% of unhappy users, but that combo of high memory usage on iOS 7 and iPhone 4S makes it almost impossible to fix the crash.
As a result, this happened.
20 comments out of 60, which is around 30% of all reviews on the App Store, were 1 star. However the overall app rating for all versions is 4.5 star (US numbers again).
In other words, unhappy people spread bad news much more. I find it unfair that 0.5% of people might affect app ratings and perception heavily. This is why it is absolutely normal to kindly ask a happy user to review your app. If done right (place and time) he or she will be happy to do it.
To our users.
I want to articulate why an app needs a review from you and why we ask a you to spend 30 seconds of your time doing this. It will help other people to evaluate the app and justify the purchase. So if you see something like this in Scanner Pro, it means that we value your opinion to the extent that we want to hear from you. In many cases, objective reviews lead to great updates and improvements! So help us with reviews and comments and we will deliver a better app!
P.S. If you rated Scanner Pro after reading this article – I love you.