Starting September, Apple silently began allowing users to leave reviews for its apps on the App Store. Almost all Apple apps were bombarded with negative reviews and poor ratings. However, the Apple Podcasts app that had an abysmally low rating of 1.8 stars, suddenly shot to 4.6 stars in just over a month.
Did Apple listen to everybody’s feedback and update the app for your listening pleasure? Did that, in turn, cause users to flock to the App Store and leave glowing reviews for the app? Sadly, that’s not the case here. Self-proclaimed “professional App Store critic” Kosta Eleftheriou who first spotted the mysterious jump in Apple Podcasts star ratings, noted that no actual fixes were rolled out.
— Kosta Eleftheriou (@keleftheriou) November 17, 2021
It is to be noted that Apple Podcasts now boasts of a 4.6-star rating with more than 18,000 ratings. That’s a massive jump from a mere 1.8 stars amassed from approximately 1,000 ratings in early October.
What could have led to this mysterious flood of positivity toward an app that was universally hated just a month ago? You can see a lot of recent positive reviews, but funnily enough, they aren’t about the app itself. The five-star reviews are praising the podcasts themselves. Whereas, if you check out the one-star reviews, most of them are about the Apple Podcasts app.
An Apple spokesperson told The Verge, “With iOS 15.1 released last month, Apple Podcasts began prompting listeners to leave a rating and review just like most third-party apps — using the standard Rating & Review prompt available to all developers.”
It appears that the placement of the review prompt is the source of confusion. Perhaps the prompt appears at the end of the podcast, which could explain the podcast content-centric reviews. However, other podcast apps on the App Store did not seem to have the issue.
Do you think Apple Podcasts is inflating its ratings by duping users with trojan review prompts? Let us know in the comments.[Via The Verge]