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We've been watching what's become a bit of a thing the past several days in the Android Market. Developers have seen a significant number of comments disappear from their app listings -- hundreds, at times. And for developers, app ratings and comments are lifeblood. While we don't think anyone would complain if the one-star trolling comments (you know who you are) would disappear, five-star comments have been caught up in the purge as well.

The "good" news, if there is any here, is that a Googler has responded to a support thread, saying:

We're aware of this issue and working to resolve it as quickly as we can. I'll post a follow-up message when I have additional information to share with you.

No ETA on when the comments might be restored, however, and we've put in word with Google, seeking a more official response.

More: Android Market developer support forums, 2

 

Reader comments

Developers fuming over missing app comments; Google says it's looking into it

19 Comments

How about the problem of the new market on phones not having app comments in chronological order??????? I can't believe that has not been addressed yet. Fix it now Google!!!

That is intentional. I complained about it to a contact I have on the Android Market team at Google. This was his response:

We're continually improving the way we present information to users. Sorting comments by date has obvious limitations and at times can be filled with spam. So we're experimenting with surfacing the most useful comments (as decided by up/down voting of users themselves).

Users will notice the effects of upvoting/downvoting comments, and with a bit of time, the most thoughtful/interesting reviews will bubble up.

My problem with this is that users can't see new comments at all, so no comments will ever be voted up, and it will become stale. A lot of apps are already stale, and have comments that are a year old complaining about some problem that has long since been fixed.

Not only that, but apps are constantly being updated so how in the hell can I find out if the latest update breaks my phone if I can't see the most recent updates??????

Since you are lucky enough to to have a contact how about you ask them to C O M M U N I C A T E with developers. They could also try doing some of that with users. For now I'm unpublishing my apps.

That just pissed me off last night.... .especially when I was trying to watch reviews for Fredricos new music app... aka the Launcher Pro Guy

Not to mention the fact that I cannot get it to show any installed apps in the "my apps" menu besides purchased apps, no matter what I do-clear data, cache, reboot, clear cp and dc in recovery, reinstall new market twice, uninstall free app and reinstall... nothing works, lame, lame, lame

Amateur Dev here (I'm Habosa Apps if it matters) and I'm very relieved to hear that this is a Google issue. I thought that people were just removing comments in droves.

My Experience:
App with 30 ratings dropped to 19, losing 8 five star reviews in the process.
App with 530+ ratings dropped to 309, losing 150+ five star reviews.

I better get those reviews back, Google.

My app (Droidicon) went from 3,500 reviews to about 1,800. I can still see all the reviews in the dev console though.

Developers fuming?! How about us customers, for which the Market has gone from the bad to "sucks! " Reviews are absolutely useless to me now. As someone else pointed out, I want to know what people CURRENTLY think/experience with an app. Who cares if a post about an app being broken six months ago was voted "very useful" and thus rises to the top, when the dev addressed the issue a week later but people didn't bother to up-rank subsequent positive comments?!

I'd have thought the biggest problem for developers was that the comments don't record the app's version, the phones model and Android version (apart from the fact that the developer can't contact the person leaving the comments, this should at least be optional to the user). Once that is added then all you need is to be able to filter and sort.

This happened to my apps a few days ago, and since my amount of comments/ratings was small it has affected my average score pretty significantly. I'm happy that Google is acknowledging it.

This has happen to me for the last 6 weeks too. I didn't think too much about it, but lately I have been upset. All the comments are viewable in the dev console but NOT on the Market, wtf?! Please fix this Google!

Another issue I have I notice, Google takes .30c from your sales, and on one of my apps Google is taking that, no problem. On my second app Google is taking .45c away, why is that? Is it because it's priced higher? Shouldn't it be .30c still?