How to ask for Ratings and Reviews

In-app (iOS 10.3+)

Starting with iOS 10.3, developers will be able to ask users for app reviews and ratings directly within the app, without redirecting them to the app store. See here for details.

This is good for app developers as they can control when to ask for reviews and the users of your app do not leave the app.

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Your app,  will however support iOS versions earlier than 10.3.  For versions before 10.3 continue using the link to app store.

On iOS 10.3 and above you will use the requestReview() method.  It is important to note you can not call this method in response to a button click.  See SKStoreReviewController class for details.

Although you should call this method when it makes sense in the user experience flow of your app, the actual display of a rating/review request view is governed by App Store policy. Because this method may or may not present an alert, it’s not appropriate to call it in response to a button tap or other user action.

requestReview() may or may not show the ratings alert

  1. Note, 10.3 includes an option to disable these alerts altogether under settings.
  2. Function requestReview() always shows an alert box in development.
  3. Function requestReview() never shows an alert in apps distributed via Testflight and
  4. Function requestReview() sometimes shows an alert for apps distributed via the app store depending on the app store policy.
  5. Also, apps can only prompt customers for a rating or review three times in a year regardless of the version number updates.

Explicitly asking for review/rating, and pre iOS 10.3

To explicitly ask for a review or rating via a button click, and for pre iOS10.3, app developers can continue to deep link to the app on the app store.

You can continue to include a persistent link in the settings or configuration screens of your app that deep-links to your App Store product page.

To automatically open a page on which users can write a review in the App Store, append the query parameter action=write-review to your product URL.

For example, you can deep link to the following link from your iOS app to take you to the Netflix app’s review page directly.  You can alternatively enter the link in Safari browser on an iOS device.

itms-apps://itunes.apple.com/app/id363590051?action=write-review

Responding to reviews

Developers will be able to respond to criticism and thank users for positive reviews

When iOS 10.3 ships to customers, you will be able to respond to customer reviews on the App Store in a way that is available for all customers to see. (This feature will also be available on the Mac App Store.)

Developers and users will be able to edit their reviews and responses

See http://daringfireball.net/2017/01/new_app_store_review_features for further details.

When to ask for ratings and reviews

We covered this in detail in the blog: Decisions based on tracked sum total of positive and negative experiences in an app.

In general, a good time to ask for ratings is when user does something positive in your app, like win a difficult game, invites other users or advocates about your app.

And similarly, you don’t want to ask for a rating if your app just crashed, the backend is not responsive, a resource failed to load or the app took a long time to load.

Here are some exampled from the blog

Representative Positive experiences

  • user does something positive in your app like wins a difficult game
  • user reaches Wall of Fame
  • user finishes a task faster than what average time to finish task
  • user finishes a task successfully
  • user invites other users to join your app via SMS, message or email, from you within your app
  • user advocates or shares your app on social media
  • user opts in for Push notifications
  • user shares her phone number with your app
  • user opts in to share contacts, geo location
  • user shares content on social media
  • uses your app more consecutively in last 3 days
  • 7D user stickiness (number of times user used app in last 7 days) is 3
  • 7D user stickiness is 5
  • 30D user stickiness app (number of times user used app in last 30 days) is between 10 and 14
  • user makes an in app purchase

feed

Representative Negative experiences

  • app crashed first time
  • app crashed second time with an hour
  • app crashed third time in last 7 days
  • an image resource did not load
  • it took longer than 3 seconds to load page on WiFi
  • it look longer than 5 seconds to load page on cellular
  • save operation failed
  • backend is not responsive
  • user started to share content but never successfully finished
  • user declined Push Notifications
  • user declined access to contacts
  • clicked on area of screen where there is no action associated or is confused by the UI
  • an engaged and active user has never used a specific screen

crash

See more detail in my blog: Decisions based on tracked sum total of positive and negative experiences in an app.

 

 

 

Posted by Dickey Singh

Dickey Singh is the CEO and co-founder at Pyze and has over two decades of experience in mobile, Big Data and SaaS. He started Pyze to help app publishers engage, retain and grow their mobile users using automation. https://twitter.com/DickeySingh Get Pyze: https://pyze.com