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Is WhatsApp getting fake reviews on the Play Store?

WhatsApp is one of the most widely used instant messaging applications in the world. Part of its success is due to its acquisition by Facebook in 2014, but the app was popular before that. However, your reputation has declined somewhat in recent times, but now it seems that this scenario is more stable. At least in theory, since in practice things are not that simple.

WhatsApp has gained numerous features in recent months, and some of them have not appealed to users of the app, such as the new status. This function, by the way, caused many users to go to social networks to complain directly to the company asking for the return of the old status. It would be normal for app ratings and ratings on the Play Store to start dropping, because in this space users can report feedback to developers. But that's not exactly what happened.

Between January and March 2017, the period between the new status testing phase and its final release, the app's overall score hit an average of 3.4 points (the maximum 5). This number is not exactly a good score, since the average of WhatsApp before this period has always been between 4.5 and 5 points. Interestingly, following the arrival of the new status, WhatsApp's positive ratings on the Play Store went up considerably.

The chart below shows the ratings WhatsApp has been receiving over time:

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WhatsApp / App Annie Ratings Rankings

In the American Play Store the app's score was 3.4 to an average of 4.8 points, thanks to the positive ratings that were made. The website Telegraph, an expert in mapping applications, believes that over 10% of the ratings that WhatsApp received with 5 stars are false.

Below is the recent WhatsApp score:

play store whatsapp fake
Oops! … / App Annie

Deepening the case

The website The Next Web decided to investigate this information and contacted WhatsApp. To the website, the company responded as follows: "We are focused on improving our service to our 1.2 billion users worldwide. We have no time for false reviews, and we have contacted Google to investigate the issue."

In parallel, the company Annie app, also specialized in monitoring applications, confirmed that the data released by Telegraph is true. We also contacted WhatsApp, but we haven't received a reply yet. We will update this article if necessary as soon as we get a feedback.

Another point that raises suspicion about this case is the way these assessments are being made. Most users are referring to the app as a game, which further reinforces the "fraud" thesis:

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WhatsApp now a game? / App Annie

App Annie mapped Telegram reviews and compared them to WhatsApp reviews. The competing app has on average 23,000 reviews, where only 22 referred to the word "game". All of them, in fact, were related to bots included in the messenger, which release small online games.

Why did WhatsApp's rating drop?

Rating and ratings serve to maintain the reputation of a particular application within Google Play. The rating increases with users' ratings of the app or game. The question, in the case of WhatsApp, is: why did ratings suddenly become bad?

There are countless theses and answers to this case, but the most credible is the emergence of the "Stories" mode, which has come as the new WhatsApp status. As I said at the beginning of the article, negative comments about the new feature are being made by users not only on the Play Store, but also on social networks and AndroidPIT articles. Most of these people point to the company's lack of creativity when copying Snapchat on their products.

Who created these "false" ratings?

It is a little impossible to answer that question. According to the Telegraph, a single positive evaluation of a fake user can cost about $ 1. An avalanche of comments, like WhatsApp, would cost a lot. The company would certainly need to have a budget that would allow it to maneuver.

Are you surprised by this WhatsApp case or are you used to such reviews on the Play Store?

. (tagsToTranslate) WhatsApp (t) review WhatsApp (t) rating WhatsApp