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Chrome allows developers to respond to app reviews in Web Store

Fri 2 Oct 2015

Google Chrome Web Store

A Google Chrome update now allows developers to respond to user app reviews across the Web Store.

Developers have been able to respond to good and bad reviews over Apple’s iTunes and App Store, and Microsoft’s Google Play, but the same feature has been unavailable in Chrome until yesterday. The addition was announced in an official statement posted to the Chromium blog by James Wagner, Product Lead and Reviews, Wrangler: ‘…we’re providing both you and your users the ability to reply to comments in the Reviews tab, in order to ensure that you can openly and clearly communicate about all relevant feedback.’

The functionality is largely welcomed by the developer community – a handy tool for personalising the service, deciding which extensions to install, and identifying and responding to bug issues. Developers can now filter troll and bogus reviews and maintain conversation with genuine app users, informing them of updates and strengthening customer relationships.

Although the new feature will not entirely eliminate harmful trolling, it allows a two-way communication to be presented, giving prospective users the chance to make their own call on the app.

The response channel was implemented as an addition to the Support Tab feature introduced in 2012, with which many Web Store users remain unfamiliar. Although app users have the opportunity to report problems through the Support Tab and speak directly to developers, Google has found that customers still prefer to leave feedback in the comments section under the Reviews tab.

Google has reminded developers that reply comments must meet Chrome Web Store policies. When responding to review comments, the developer’s name and Google account will be shown publicly.

For now, developer feedback seems to be positive. Some commenters have shown their disappointment that there is no automatic email notification service attached with the new tool – surprised that Google recommends ‘closely monitoring user reviews for bug reports and feature suggestions.’

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