Google Play Review Comments

Google Play review trolls beware! Developers no longer have to remain silent when faced with flaming on their app listings.

Google today announced (along with a major redesign to its developer site) the ability for devs to respond to customer reviews on their apps in Google Play. This has been a long-requested feature, for the obvious reason. App reviews and star ratings mean life and death for an app. And while many customer reviews are helpful, you'll also see a number of reviews that don't make sense, or ding an app for something the developer has no control over. 

Ever seen the Stupid Market Comments account on Google+? This is what we're talking about.

"One star. Annoyed. Can't pass Level 17. Can anyone help me?"

Now, the developer can respond. 

OK, so flamers and trolls are the negative side of this. On a more positive note, developers will be able to actively address issues and answer questions. (Until now, that's been next to impossible.) And that's a definite bonus, said developer Saleh Esmaeili, who's bringing the popular Carbon Twitter client to Android.

"Many users leave feedback meant for app developers as app reviews, and some even report bugs while reviewing apps," Esmaeili told Android Central. "It will be a great opportunity to overcome the limitation and answer back right where it is asked."

And that's exactly what he'll be able to do. Developer responses will be posted publicly, on the app listings, right alongside the existing reviews. And if you leave a review on an app and the developer responds, you'll get an e-mail letting you know your comment was answered. You'll then be able to contact the developer directly if you have further questions. 

One catch: Google's initially rolling out the feature to developers who have a "Top Developer Badge," but that should cover a good many of the most popular apps out there.

All in all, it's an excellent addition to the selection and purchasing experience on Google Play.

More: Google Mobile Blog


Reader comments

Google gives app developers a way to respond to reviews in Google Play Store


Now if we could only get rid of all the "This app sux. I don't want it and I can't delete it" comments.

Too bad it has been 4 months and no news about when this will be made available to other developers as well.

Meanwhile, the small developers, those who care the most about replying and informing customers, are the ones who don't get the benefits.

Too bad.

But the question is: if I as a user left a (non-trolling) comment and a developer replies, will I get a notification that a comment I posted received a reply?

Reviewer: u would think after 6 verzins they wud have the auto-twitter funtionalety!!! 1 star get with the times!!

Developer: We considered this, and quickly decided that the percentage of users who would use it would be vanishingly small. --Gunther Schwartzmann, Lead Developer for BowelTracker

It is about time. Amazon and Newegg have had this forever for comments on reviews. Now if Google would just fix the market/play/whatever so users can better filter and sort results based on far more criteria, we might have a really nice environment.

Was I the only one dumb enough to click on "Stupid Market Comments" to only get a 404 error? Was this a joke done on purpose. I really would like to see more of what these idiots are saying, lol...