Recently, I read a story that both shocked and upset me. A study conducted by Gartner found that by the year 2014, 10-15 percent of social media reviews will be falsified information. As you can tell by the App World Wednesday posts I write, I’m a guy who spends a lot of time in the newly-named BlackBerry World.
The thought of “reviewers” moving in and writing fake reviews to either help or hurt certain apps makes me crazy. While our apps group does its best to police any fake reviews in BlackBerry World, we as consumers and developers can stay sharp and zap fake reviews ourselves, too. Here are five ways to become an app review super-sleuth:
- Consider the Source. Does the app you’re looking to download have only three reviews from users “FredFlintstone”, “WilmaFlintstone”, and “BarneyRubble?” You may want to take those reviews with a grain of salt.
- Help the Cause. Make sure you’re signed up for a BlackBerry ID and that you’re writing your own honest and fair reviews. Suggest changes the developer can make in a helpful way.
- One of These Things is Not Like the Others. If an app has a ton of stellar reviews, then one one-star review stating the app is terrible, you may be looking at a fake review or simply someone who didn’t understand the app. The same thing goes for many bad reviews and one great one.
- Trust, but Verify. If an app is poorly reviewed, take a look at some of the other apps the developer has done as well as their reviews. If the app is a rare miss for the developer, there’s a good chance they’ve developed an improved app to replace it.
- Contact the Developer. Almost all of the BlackBerry World developers have a way to contact their support team if you have a question. If you’re concerned about the app’s features or price, connect with the developer before you download the app. A good app developer will look to customer feedback for making their product better rather than just sit back and read negative reviews.
I’m a firm believer in spotting and calling out fake reviewers, and in promoting fairness to our developers who bring great apps to all of us. Help the cause and tell us how you spot fake reviews. And remember to contact BlackBerry World Support if you see something that doesn’t look right.