Linking *directly* into your app’s reviews in the App Store [UPDATED]

UPDATED 10/3:

I have received some feedback regarding this post that I thought I would share:

One developer implemented this feature in a UIAlertView pop-up, asking users nicely if they’re enjoying the app and whether they would like to be taken to the App Store to review the app. This UIAlertView happens after the 10th app launch, so you’re already dealing with people who have used your app enough that they must be liking it. It’s a $0.99 app by the way.

In just two short hours after implementing this, he had received 6 new app store reviews, all with positive feedback along with 4 or 5 stars, nothing less!

What can we learn from this?

1. People are, by nature, lazy. Consider the steps required to actually reviews an app that you like: You have to actively find it again in the App Store, scroll down and go to the review page. Then tap the button to submit your own review, login, etc. Unless someone’s super excited or very pissed off about your app, you will only see a small percentage of people taking their time to go through all those steps to review and rate your app. By asking users, who’ve been using your app more than just a few times nicely for a review, then linking *directly* to the App Store, they’re already skipping many of the above steps and rating and reviewing your app becomes a quick activity related to an app they’re enjoying.

2. Reviews are generally positive. Ratings on the other hand tend to be more black and white. Either people hate your app, delete it and quickly give it 1 star. I doubt a lot of people give apps 4-5 stars when they delete an app. They’re deleting it for a reason; either they didn’t like it, or it just wasn’t what they needed/expected. If they like the app, chances are they’d never delete it, and you wouldn’t be getting those great 4-5 star ratings (refer to #1). I have seen reviews that have pointed out several wrongs about apps, but they’re still adding a 4-5 star rating with the review. It may seem there’s a difference in people’s mind about a review and a rating. I think a lot of users think of reviews as a way of communicating to the developer that there’s an issue with the app, or they want this or that added, but they still use and love the app regardless (giving it a high rating).

3. You’re asking the right users. When deleting an app, Apple has implemented a horrible UIAlertView asking the same people who just got rid of your app to rate it. I think we all agree this is ridiculous (refer to #2). With a UIAlertView inside your app for 10+ launches linking into the reviews of your app in the App Store, you can pretty much assume these people are enjoying the app, especially if they agree to review it. If they’re don’t like it that much or don’t have time, it’s just a simple tap to dismiss the UIAlertView.

ORIGINAL:

Today @coffeeandiphone we briefly discussed ratings/reviews for apps, and one person mentioned he’d like to show some of the users who have used his app more than X amount of times an alert where he’d ask them to review his app in the app store.

So here’s a link that will take people directly to the review section of your app in the App Store. Note, though, they won’t be able to go “Back” to the actual page for your app in the App Store (when on a device), so they can’t really see that they’re on the review page for your app. Therefore, you probably want to make it veryclear where your linking to and before sending them out of your app, into the App Store.

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewContentsUserReviews?id=341136260&pageNumber=0&sortOrdering=1&type=Purple+Software&mt=8

See where is says “?id=341136260” ? That’s the only thing you need to change. Just insert your own app ID there and you’re good to go. Don’t get confused by “type=Purple+Software&mt=8”, because if you change that, it won’t work for some reason. I am not quite sure why it has to say Purple Software, but I don’t really care as long as it works :)

Combine it with something like this (“Fighting Back Against The App Store’s Negative Rating Bias”) and you’re good to go!

Edit: I can’t remember where I got this info from, but credit goes to whoever/wherever, of course.