Google Play update allows developers to directly reply to user reviews

May 13, 2013
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Google has announced the latest update for the Play Store. This time around the update is dealing with app reviews and it is one that should help to improve communication between the developer and the end-user. The level of communication will likely vary from app to app and developer to developer, however moving forward, developers will be able to directly reply to Play Store user reviews.

Google has said a priority has been to further "strengthen that conversation" between developers and users. With that in mind, it seems a basic aspect of the communication is for both sides to be able to talk and reply back. In that respect, this makes perfect sense and we sort of have to wonder why it hadn't been rolled out earlier. Nonetheless, moving forward all Google Play developers will be able to respond to user reviews.

The developer will be able to reply using the Developer Console, however the reply will show in the Play Store alongside the user review. To clarify that, the developer replies will be posted publicly. On the other side, the user will receive an email notification when a developer replies. From here the user will be able to take the conversation to email (between them and the developer) or update their review. In addition to the user being able to update their review, the developer will also be able to update their replies.

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The ability for developers to reply to user reviews goes hand-in-hand with another change that Google made to the Play Store. This other change came back in November of 2012 and was the tie-in with Google+ accounts. Google connected your Play Store and Google+ accounts which in turn, removed some of the anonymous aspect. As a result of the lack of anonymity Google has said the quality of reviews has increased "tremendously."

Bottom line here, while this latest Play Store change is clearly aimed at developers, it seems like one that will also benefit the users. Building off the connecting of the accounts and tying an identity to Play Store app reviews, it seems that knowing a developer could respond back to your comments should only go to further enhance the quality of reviews.

SOURCE: Android Developers Blog


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