Developers: Steer clear of fake reviewing services on the Windows Phone Store

Published an app on the Windows Phone Store? Wish there was some way to get noticed or perhaps tackle competition on the store? Developers who are attempting to break into the market may find it difficult to accumulate downloads and get their name out there, so how do you get apps and games noticed?

There are numerous ways (including Windows Phone Central - *hint*), but one that we'll highlight today is an example of a service that should be avoided (and reported where applicable) - fake reviews.

We've been made aware of a fake reviewing advertisement over on MSDN (now deleted - see below) and we thought it be wise to make both developers and consumers aware of such a service. What the service essentially offers developers are 5-star reviews on select apps, as well as 1-star reviews on competitors and promoting other apps in review comments - basically we're talking about black hat reviewing on the Windows Phone Store.

So why is this bad for both consumers and developers (yes, those reviews in the above photo are real)?

The consumer relies on reviews on the Windows Phone Store to determine whether or not an app or game is worth downloading, especially if it costs a dollar or two. If you're looking at false and faked data, you could be paying for an app that's not quite what the reviews represent. That's a serious issue for those who use the store front-end. We actually wrote up a nice article on consumer review etiquette, which is worth checking out.

As for developers, these folk are the content creators. Pouring hours of effort and sometimes investing heavily to produce apps and games enjoyed by millions. Ironically enough, the fake review service highlights this, "Many of us spent hours to develop best apps for store." So why go and damage the reputation and work of others, who have also arguably poured just as much (if not more) hours of effort? It's baffling.

Fake Review Service

Is this really what we want to see on the store?

We're not advertising this service, nor are we recommending developers should utilise it. What we are stressing is that developers be on the look out for spam-like reviews on apps and report them to Microsoft, just as our own Jay Bennett has already done so. 

Source: MSDN (now deleted); thanks, Daniel, for the heads up!

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.