Case Study: The Effect of the User Feedback Prompt on Ratings in iOS 10.3

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How does the User Feedback Prompt introduced with iOS 10.3 affect the volume of ratings and average score of an iOS app? Keep reading, you’ll be surprised!

The importance of user ratings in App Store and Google Play

If you are following our ASO blog, you probably already know how important it is to receive a great amount of ratings in order to improve the visibility of an app on Google Play or App Store. Both Apple and Google take into account this ASO off-metadata factor when it comes to understanding whether an app has an optimal “health” state and, therefore, should have greater visibility than the apps that receive fewer user ratings. The continuous reception of ratings is considered, according to several specialists, as one of the main ASO factors to be taken into account, being of equal importance with the volume and speed of installs.

User Ratings and Reviews

That being said, based upon a comparison of the volume of ratings received by the apps on the App Store and Google Play, there is a theory that Android users tend to participate more actively in giving feedback to the developers and brands behind the apps. On the other hand, iOS users participate less in giving feedback through ratings and comments. According to this theory, among industry experts it is said that Android users not only value and comment more on the apps, but, in addition, their ratings and comments are usually more positive compared to iOS users of the same app.

Read more: 10 Proven Ways to Improve User Ratings on App Store and Google Play

There are several hypotheses that aim to explain both behavioral trends according to the user’s operating system. The less scientific theory argues that iOS users are more demanding. According to this theory, iPhone / iPad users always expect a product to be “perfect, seamless and finished”. If these circumstances do not occur and the user experience is negative, it is when they go to the App Store to evaluate or comment negatively. On the other hand, there is a more scientific theory that argues an excessive sequence of steps before being able to evaluate or comment on the App Store.

It is difficult to illustrate and exemplify the theory that the same app receives less and worse ratings and comments from iOS users, compared to Android users. The public information offered by the stores is limited, so it is not easy to prove it. App Store works by country, so we have information on the volume of ratings and comments received in that country. On the contrary, Google Play works by language and the average grade, volume of installs and volume of ratings is accumulated among all the countries where the app is available.

Ratings and Reviews: Android users vs. iOS users

We have performed a small experiment with all the data we have to justify the initial theory:

Imagine that all the inhabitants of Greece (10,750,000) have the Facebook app installed on their phones. Knowing that in this country 83% of population uses Android and 13% uses iOS, we can assume that 8.9 million inhabitants are Android users and 1.3 million inhabitants are iOS users.

Using the data from Appbot, a complete ASO tool for User Feedback analysis, we have discovered that during the last year the Facebook app for Android has received 11,745 reviews in Greek (remember that comments are always associated with a rating) and during the same period of time the Facebook app for iOS has received 686 comments on the App Store Greece.

We have chosen Greece because it is a country with a language that is spoken almost exclusively in that country. The share of iOS users who have left a review and rating for Facebook app is 0.049%, while the share of Android users who have left a review and rating for Facebook is 0.13%, which is more than a double of that of iOS.

In addition, as reflected in the following images taken from Appbot, the average score among Android reviews is better (2.5 *) compared to the average score among iOS reviews (1.7 *).

Facebook Average Rating - iOS Greece
Image: Appbot, App Store Greece – Facebook Average Rating and Reviews
Facebook Average Rating - Android Greece
Image: Appbot, Google Play Greece – Facebook Average Rating and Reviews

 

Based on all this “pseudoscientific” data, we can get closer to confirm that Android users leave more and better ratings and comments than iOS users.

User Feedback Prompt as a tool to encourage a greater volume and quality of ratings on the App Store

With an aim to encourage iOS users to rate the apps they have installed, Apple launched a User Feedback Prompt named SKStoreReviewController API. It has been launched in mid-2017, together with iOS 10.3, and permits the users to rate the app within the same User Feedback Prompt window.

This way, the user doesn’t need to go to the store to leave the rating, and can do it natively while enjoying the app content. Apple has also added a set of certain rules in the use of this prompt, only allowing its use 3 times over the year.

Apple's User Feedback Prompt

Positive results of the integration of Apple’s User Feedback Prompt

Let’s move on to practice. You are probably asking yourself: did the implementation of this prompt in iOS 10.3 had any visible effect? The answer is – YES!

From what we have been able to analyze using data extracted from Appbot and TheTool.io, the apps that have integrated the prompt, have not only received many more ratings, but the quality of these is almost entirely positive.

Let’s see some practical examples.

Idealista – App Store Spain

Idealista, the real estate sales and rental portal implemented the SKStoreReviewController API on September 25, together with the update to the version 8.9.1. The impact of the user feedback prompt was immediate and with very positive results. By the time of the update, the app had accumulated 10,040 ratings on the App Store Spain with an average score of 4.15 *, and only 2 month later it nearly doubled the volume of ratings received over the course of the last 6 years (since the launch of the app).

At the moment Idealista has a total of 29,197 ratings and an average score of 4.42 *.

Idealista - App Store Spain

ASOS – App Store UK

ASOS, the well-known British e-commerce, implemented the Apple prompt on September 24, along with the version 3.6 and, since then, has multiplied by 6.6 the volume of ratings received before to the prompt implementation. Unbelievable!

ASOS - UK User Feedback Prompt Result

Instagram – App Store USA

Another paradigmatic case is that of the Instagram app. As you can see in the following chart, until August 20, the Instagram app had received a total of 2,184,326 ratings since its launch in 2010. Since the implementation of the prompt, along with the version 11.0 of the app, it has received 7,246,348 rating, multiplying by 3.3 the volume of ratings received over the last 7 years. In addition, the app has improved the average score with an impressive change from 4.44 * to the current 4.71 * in only 3 months.

Instagram - App Store USA - User Feedback Prompt

InfoJobs – App Store Spain

Finally, we observed the case of the InfoJobs iOS app, using the data from TheTool. The user centric nature of this app and an adequate User Feedback strategy has led it to multiply by 10 the volume of ratings received. In less than a month, the app has improved an average score from 3.5 * to the current 4.5 *.

InfoJobs Spain - User Feedback Prompt - TheTool Data

User Feedback Prompt: a solution to improve and reinforce your user ratings

All in all, if after seeing these excellent and immediate results in terms of volume of ratings and an average score of iOS apps, you still have not implemented SKStoreReviewController API in your iOS app, it is now the time to consider it. What can go wrong?

Did you already implement User Feedback Prompt in your iOS app? Share your experience in comments!

Case Study: The Effect of the User Feedback Prompt on Ratings in iOS 10.3
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Guillermo Gallardo

Guillermo Gallardo

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