5-star Apple Podcast, anomalous leap in the App Store ranking


If you go to see the rankings of the podcast apps on the App Store , you will immediately notice that the official Apple – Apple Podcast – is at first place and has an almost maximum rating. Normal , one would think, also because it is pre-installed on Cupertino devices. This success, however, is completely unexpected : his ambiguity stems from the fact that until a few weeks ago on the store had just 1.8 stars. And now, suddenly, he has almost 5 .

The reason is easily explained: with iOS 15. 1 , released just under a month ago, Apple Podcast introduced a in-app evaluation system with which you interrupt the broadcasts asking users what they think of the service. All right, God forbid, and the user himself is free to disable this function by accessing Settings> App Store> Ratings and in-app reviews (“ Help developers and other users understand what you think about a product by allowing apps to ask you for feedback “). Too bad that, as formulated, the feedeback request has been misinterpreted by the vast majority of users, thus going to judge the listening podcast more than its container .

How did “Apple Podcasts” suddenly go from 1.8 to 4.6 stars? Is Apple manipulating their own app ratings now? https://t.co/bSAr8sFKqQ pic.twitter.com/5kJKYd54VP

– Kosta Eleftheriou (@keleftheriou) November 17, 2021

And so began the climb: from an objectively insufficient judgment, it quickly passed to a more than positive one, influenced by comments that instead of being focused on Apple Podcasts concern the podcasts themselves. There are many examples that are reported by The Verge after the reports on Twitter of the watchdog Kosta Eleftheriou, much along the lines of: “ These are great shows “,” I’m so glad my friend introduced me to this podcast because I’m addicted to it now “.

The fact of having introduced an evaluation in-app therefore seems to have created a bit of confusion among users : not only the feedbacks have literally multiplied in the last few days (over 6. 000 only on November, for example), but they are also all positive, and focus on the show you are listening to. According to The Verge, then, this strategy tends to facilitate the release of positive feedback as (a) those who are not satisfied with the app do not give a (negative) in-app judgment, but go directly to the App Store to leave a comment and (b) it cannot be excluded that the 5 stars are given on impulse just to go back to listening to the podcast without being interrupted by windows that open suddenly.

Apple confirmed that “ with iOS 15. 1 released last month Apple Podcast has begun inviting listeners to issue a rating and review just like most third-party apps parts, using the standard Rating & Review request available to all developers “.

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