Under the Radar

75: Responding to Reviews


00:00:00   Welcome to Under the Radar, a show about independent iOS app development.

00:00:03   I'm Marco Arment.

00:00:04   >> And I'm David Smith.

00:00:05   Under the Radar is never longer than 30 minutes, so let's get started.

00:00:09   >> So we finally have the ability to respond to reviews in the App Store.

00:00:13   >> Yay!

00:00:14   >> We've been waiting for this for a while.

00:00:16   We probably thought it would never come.

00:00:18   It was announced, what, about two months ago or something like that.

00:00:20   Now we finally have it.

00:00:22   The way they've implemented the system is actually pretty good.

00:00:25   You know, it's pretty much what you would hope it would be in that when you respond

00:00:29   to a review, Apple notifies the user with an email and says, "Hey, the developer responded

00:00:34   with this.

00:00:35   Would you, you know, click here if you'd like to update your review?"

00:00:39   And the person can do that.

00:00:40   So it's actually like, it's a pretty nice system.

00:00:42   All the reviews are in iTunes Connect.

00:00:43   You can, you know, you can browse all the regions and everything.

00:00:48   So I think they did a pretty good job with it.

00:00:50   And now, it's, I think the interesting part to discuss today is now that we have this

00:00:56   system as developers, what are the best ways we can actually use it?

00:01:00   You know, what should we do?

00:01:01   What shouldn't we do?

00:01:03   What are the risks?

00:01:04   What's worth doing?

00:01:06   And I think there's a good approximately 30-minute discussion to be had there.

00:01:10   What do you think?

00:01:11   >> I think so, yeah.

00:01:13   And it's, I think I would absolutely agree with that, that I'm very glad they've done

00:01:17   this, and I think the way they did it works well.

00:01:21   As you know, it's early days still, but it seems like it wasn't one of these things where,

00:01:26   you know, we finally got what we were asking for, but they did it in a way that was awkward

00:01:29   or cumbersome or annoying for the most part.

00:01:31   Like the interface in iTunes Connect, so just as a, in case you're trying to find this and

00:01:37   you haven't, so if you go to a particular app, you go to the activity tab, and then

00:01:41   you go to ratings and reviews, which is an area that has actually always been there,

00:01:44   or it's been there for a very long time, but now suddenly there's a reply button at the

00:01:49   side of each review, as well as a whole lot of really good filters that you can apply

00:01:54   to it.

00:01:55   You can see all your reviews, you can see reviews that you've responded to, reviews

00:01:58   that you haven't responded to, reviews that were changed as a result or after you responded

00:02:04   to them, which is also a really helpful thing, so you can get a sense of if it's actually

00:02:07   working, as well as filtering, you know, by different versions of the app or different,

00:02:12   you know, how critical they are, like if you want to see all your one-star reviews, your

00:02:15   five-star reviews.

00:02:16   It's a really good, solid, like you would hope, interface.

00:02:20   I mean, the only slight niggle I have about it, which is only really applies to me, because

00:02:25   I have so many apps, is that I have to go through each app individually to check on

00:02:29   the new reviews, rather than there being a consolidated interface for it, but that's

00:02:33   just because I'm strange and have dozens of apps.

00:02:37   But otherwise, it's, you know, overall, mechanically, it's really nice, and they show up pretty

00:02:42   well in the App Store.

00:02:44   I always kind of wonder how many people actually read the reviews in the App Store versus just

00:02:48   looking at the star rating, but, you know, it shows up that it truncates the review you

00:02:53   responded to, like it always does at about three lines, and then below it, it just says,

00:02:57   like, "developer response," and, you know, your response shows up right below there.

00:03:02   And that's probably actually a little pro tip that I thought of when I started doing

00:03:07   my reviews response, that is, once I thought of it, I was like, "Oh, of course, that's

00:03:12   where I should start," because right now, you probably have an app with, you know, if

00:03:17   you have an app of any volume, you have, you know, maybe hundreds of reviews to look at.

00:03:21   It's like, "Which one should I start looking at for responses?"

00:03:24   And the first thing I did is just open the App Store, go over to the Reviews tab, and

00:03:29   see which are the first ones to show up in that list.

00:03:31   Exactly.

00:03:32   Because that is, by far, the most likely reviews that anyone is ever going to read.

00:03:37   You know, it's very unlikely that people are going to be paging through all the way to

00:03:42   the bottom of that list.

00:03:43   Like, maybe, but whenever especially that number one review below your star rating,

00:03:50   make sure that there's a good response to that, because often that can also be slightly

00:03:55   critical because I think the sorting of that list is not chronological.

00:04:00   I think it's--

00:04:01   It's most helpful.

00:04:02   Yeah.

00:04:03   But it's kind of vague.

00:04:04   Like, I don't think it's purely based on, like, the number of upvotes and downvotes

00:04:07   and, like, the "was this helpful" thing.

00:04:08   I don't think it's only that.

00:04:10   I think there's other factors.

00:04:11   It's hard to tell, but if you leave the sorting in iTunes Connect at the default that it loads

00:04:17   up with, it's that sorting.

00:04:18   So-- And you can always, you know, go on your phone and look at the App Store to just verify

00:04:22   that that's still the way it's sorted.

00:04:24   But yeah, that-- Because, like, I feel like you have to decide as, you know, as a way

00:04:29   to spend your time and as a way to take the risks, which we'll talk about, of the system,

00:04:34   you have to decide, like, are you mostly doing it to address that particular reviewer and

00:04:40   to talk to them directly, or are you mostly doing it to show other people who are reading

00:04:46   the reviews, you know, your point of view on it, or to correct falsehoods, or to appear

00:04:52   to be caring about your customers, or things like that.

00:04:54   So if you're mostly responding to reviews, like, to the public, basically, in that, you

00:04:59   know, in that latter way, rather than to the individual reviewers, then it makes sense

00:05:04   to really only spend your time addressing a few of the top ones in each region, because

00:05:10   again, as you said, like, they're prob-- Most people are not going to be paging through,

00:05:15   you know, 200 reviews of an app, like, that's, you know, if you're lucky enough to have that

00:05:18   many, it's gonna be the top handful at most, and after that, it's severely diminishing

00:05:25   returns.

00:05:26   So it doesn't make sense to spend a ton of time responding to every single review from,

00:05:33   you know, the last four years or whatever, because most people are never gonna see that.

00:05:37   Yeah, and I think too, it's-- The perspective that I take with these things is that these

00:05:43   are marketing statements, first and foremost.

00:05:46   They can be helpful to the person that I'm responding to, but because this is a public-facing,

00:05:53   you know, this is text that is public-facing, that is on the app store page for my app,

00:06:00   which is like where I put all of my other marketing copy, like, it is important that

00:06:04   these are written in such a way that they are, you know, useful and helpful to anybody

00:06:11   who is trying to think about if they want to download my app, and so it essentially

00:06:15   becomes marketing.

00:06:16   And you can still, you know, write them to the person.

00:06:18   It's not like this has to be some kind of stilted, PR-speak type of response, but it's

00:06:26   in the back of your mind when you're writing these reviews.

00:06:28   It's, you know, how would I write this?

00:06:31   Unless writing this to this one person, then I am to the, hopefully, hundreds or thousands

00:06:36   of people who might read this when they're browsing the app, because the strange thing

00:06:40   with reviews is they're very, like, point in time.

00:06:44   You know, someone came, wrote, you know, say that you have the classic, kind of like the

00:06:49   one star, it's like, "I hated this app.

00:06:52   It was useless.

00:06:54   I deleted it right away."

00:06:55   And they leave that as a review.

00:06:57   Well, that user is unlikely to come back.

00:06:59   They've deleted the app.

00:07:01   Like, you're kind of done with them.

00:07:03   You can still usefully write a response to that, where you might show interest in terms

00:07:08   of saying, "I'm so sorry you had a bad experience.

00:07:11   If you have any problem, if you have specific concerns or complaints, you know, plea by

00:07:15   all means email me.

00:07:16   Here's my support address," or something like that, which is a marketing message that, "I'm

00:07:21   engaged.

00:07:22   I'm interested.

00:07:23   I care about my users, even if this one person had a bad experience," which can be useful.

00:07:27   Or someone who, you know, "I wish it did X.

00:07:29   It doesn't one star," and you can respond to that person and say, "Hey, actually it

00:07:33   does," or, "That's a great suggestion.

00:07:36   We'll see if we can work that into a future update, maybe."

00:07:39   But whatever that is, you're writing these with the expectation of, you know, someone

00:07:43   is opening the app store.

00:07:44   They're going to reviews.

00:07:45   They're reading these reviews, especially if they're reading a negative review.

00:07:49   It's having a slight counterpoint that's right below it, something that they can at least

00:07:53   see a response to, so it doesn't just stand there on its own as a negative message.

00:08:00   >> Steve- In deciding which ones to respond to, I've seen a lot of developers talk about,

00:08:06   you know, on Twitter or on different podcasts, I've seen a lot of people mention, like, the

00:08:09   idea of, "Well, I don't want to, like, set the wrong expectations of my customers," or,

00:08:14   like, "Train people to expect certain things will always get responses," or "Won't always

00:08:17   get responses," or whatever else.

00:08:19   Or, you know, one thing you can think about is, like, if you respond to every review,

00:08:23   that might create an incentive for people to one-star review you to just get your attention

00:08:28   because they know you're listening.

00:08:30   I think these are all wonderful concepts, but I think in reality, this is out of our

00:08:35   control, because the reality is, whatever standards that people will expect, whether

00:08:42   people will expect reviews or will expect responses to their reviews or not, whether

00:08:46   they will, you know, think that reviewing your app or especially one-starring your app

00:08:53   will get your attention or not, that will be decided globally, like, among the entire

00:08:58   app store and just the people using it, like, their thoughts and, you know, the kind of

00:09:03   norms and culture that comes around that.

00:09:06   Whatever you do with your individual app is not going to affect that at all.

00:09:09   Like, whatever people will come to expect with whether they get responses or not and

00:09:14   whether it's worth one-starring and yelling at people or not, that's out of our hands.

00:09:18   That's being decided, it's already been decided, like, that battle is over.

00:09:24   People already were using reviews, you know, angry one-star reviews, to try to get our

00:09:28   attention.

00:09:29   They already do the thing where, like, they hold the star hostage and things like that.

00:09:32   You know, like, you're lucky if they only hold one star hostage.

00:09:33   Like, you know, that's out of our hands.

00:09:37   And so whether or not you respond to your reviews or how many of your reviews you respond

00:09:43   to has nothing to do with what your customers expect from you and you are not setting their

00:09:48   expectations or setting their incentives.

00:09:50   The entire app store is.

00:09:52   So you should probably just go along with what people will expect to happen, regardless

00:09:58   of what that is.

00:09:59   - Yeah, and I think, too, it's also important to keep in mind how small a proportion of

00:10:06   your user base we're talking about here.

00:10:09   - Yeah.

00:10:10   - Like, it is easy, I think, and this is part of why, when I say, like, I think this is

00:10:15   first and foremost a marketing thing and why I was really hopeful that one day we would

00:10:19   be able to respond to reviews, is a very small percentage of your users can have a disproportionate

00:10:26   impact on your appearance in the app store.

00:10:31   You know, in terms of, I don't have to have actually looked at what the numbers are, but

00:10:35   I imagine it's at least hundreds, if not thousands, to one for people who actually leave a review

00:10:41   in the app store, and amongst those, the vast majority leave just star ratings rather than

00:10:48   words.

00:10:49   So you're ending up with a fraction of a percentage, probably, of your users that are leaving these

00:10:56   written reviews that get responses.

00:10:58   And the vast majority of my support, like my actual customer support, is going to come

00:11:04   through support links and things within the apps itself, that they're not going to be

00:11:08   coming through the app store.

00:11:09   And it's like, my goal, in a weird way with these, is like, it's damage control in some

00:11:16   ways, because if someone writes a glowing review, five stars, this is awesome, like,

00:11:20   there's nothing really for me to do, and like, throwing in a, like, thanks, that's awesome,

00:11:24   like, that feels a little weird and, like, empty.

00:11:28   If there's a five star review that has a question in it, answering the question maybe makes

00:11:31   sense, you know, but mostly what this is, is a tool for me to clear up misunderstandings

00:11:37   or clear up issues where, you know, somebody is just saying something that's untrue or,

00:11:45   you know, like they're missing the point or they didn't find the feature, like, it's a

00:11:48   way for me to communicate, not to that person, I mean, I want to tell that person, but like,

00:11:52   that's one person out of, you know, out of thousands that I can hopefully help, which

00:11:56   is, you know, nice, but it's not nearly as impactful as the, you know, hopefully hundreds

00:12:01   or thousands of people who will come to your App Store page and you can communicate to

00:12:05   them whatever that message is.

00:12:07   And so, don't get too stuck either on, like, the, you know, it's like training this individual

00:12:14   person, like, it's such a small proportion of your actual users that it probably matters

00:12:19   less there, you know, and if anything, it's like, if you want to train your users to get

00:12:23   in contact with you when they have problems or wherever that is, it's like, be responsive

00:12:26   to your email, I suppose, like, and make that a place that people can feel like they can

00:12:31   vent their, you know, their unease or problems they have in the app, but like, yeah, I wouldn't

00:12:37   get too wrapped around the axle about like, ooh, it's like, you know, trying to be clever

00:12:41   about this, it's like, no, just look at your reviews and see which ones you can add value

00:12:46   to in responding to.

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00:14:53   So I think it probably makes sense now to dive into just a little bit of the kind of

00:14:57   what are the good ones, good reviews to respond to, and which are ones that we should just

00:15:02   let be.

00:15:04   And the first ones that come to mind on the "let it go" side of things is being very careful

00:15:10   to get sucked into snarkiness or people who are just like writing reviews that are mean

00:15:20   or angry or aren't really on topic.

00:15:26   And in general, as with most things on the internet, arguing with people on the internet

00:15:30   is never really a good idea.

00:15:34   And so whenever I see these kinds of reviews, it's probably best to be like, "You know,

00:15:37   there's not much that I could gain from diving into this."

00:15:41   Maybe if it was the number one, if it showed up as the top review in the app store, it

00:15:46   might be something that would be worthwhile trying to at least show an engagement there,

00:15:51   but trying to go back and forth with somebody who clearly is just kind of mad and was using

00:15:57   this review as a way to vent that is unlikely to be productive.

00:16:04   Whereas probably good reviews to talk about are ones where there's a clear misunderstanding

00:16:10   or question.

00:16:11   And as I've been browsing a little bit in these, these are the areas that I think are

00:16:16   the best opportunities for us.

00:16:19   When you look at a review and someone is saying...

00:16:21   I mean, in some ways, it's like the old HostageStar situation where someone's like, "Oh, man,

00:16:27   it's a four-star app.

00:16:28   It would be five-star if it did X."

00:16:29   And if it actually does do X, if it's just like, "Oh, sorry the UI didn't help you find

00:16:36   the feature," if you go to the third tab or you go into settings, you can then turn that

00:16:40   on.

00:16:41   That's a great example of a place that you can...

00:16:44   As from a marketing perspective, that's useful because if someone was going to say, "Oh,

00:16:49   I like this app, but according to this review, it doesn't actually do this kind of feature,"

00:16:53   and, "Oh, the developer says it does.

00:16:56   Great."

00:16:57   Or even probably moreover, it would be, "Because these do...

00:17:01   I think the written reviews stick around beyond multiple versions, I think?"

00:17:07   I don't know.

00:17:08   It's...

00:17:09   And that could obviously change over time, but right now, I'm pretty sure...

00:17:12   I think they don't, actually, unless they're edited.

00:17:14   Maybe.

00:17:15   But I'm not positive on that.

00:17:16   Yeah.

00:17:17   But it's also worth clearing up, too, if someone had a problem that was then fixed in a subsequent

00:17:20   release.

00:17:22   In general, just saying that is probably a helpful thing.

00:17:25   Yeah, because it is a funny thing, because you just want to find these places where you

00:17:31   can have these positive engagements.

00:17:34   I don't think...

00:17:35   I don't know what you think about this, but there's a lot of...

00:17:38   I remember people were asking initially or talking about it of, "Should we respond to

00:17:43   every review?

00:17:44   Should each review have a response below it?"

00:17:46   Oh, geez.

00:17:47   That's a simple answer.

00:17:48   No.

00:17:49   That's really easy.

00:17:50   A lot of times, those responses just end up being like, "Thank you," or, "Good point."

00:17:55   That kind of response, I don't think, is actually productive.

00:17:59   That I think it just kind of is distracting, probably.

00:18:03   Maybe I'm wrong.

00:18:04   Maybe people would love to see all these little...

00:18:07   Someone says something nice about you, and you say, "Thank you."

00:18:09   I guess that's polite.

00:18:10   It's the polite thing to do, is to say thank you, and someone says something nice about

00:18:14   you.

00:18:15   But it seems counterproductive in a lot of ways.

00:18:19   The main benefit, in a weird way, and this is just the way my mind works, I suppose,

00:18:23   is by doing that, you are increasing the amount of space on the screen that the positive review

00:18:31   took up, so it emphasizes it slightly.

00:18:36   If someone has a five-star review...

00:18:40   One of the issues that we have here is that, again, what I said earlier, whatever most

00:18:46   apps do or the most popular apps do is going to be what people assume and expect.

00:18:52   I think one of the big problems is that most people actually use are made by big companies,

00:18:57   and the big companies are either going to not respond, or they're going to have somebody

00:19:01   whose job it is to basically be a canned response, similar to if you @mention on Twitter, some

00:19:07   big brand like Comcast or whatever, then they're going to have some intern whose job it is

00:19:11   to try to placate you with a canned response.

00:19:15   We're going to have that on the app store reviews, too.

00:19:18   If people get used to that, anything you say, in a general response to a positive one, they're

00:19:26   going to assume is not genuine.

00:19:28   They're going to assume that this is just a form letter that you say to everybody, which

00:19:31   it actually might be.

00:19:34   I don't think that looks good to people.

00:19:36   People see right through that, and again, they're going to be coming to your app with

00:19:40   the assumption that this is a canned response.

00:19:43   One of the reviews that I gave, I was trying to placate somebody who one-starred me, and

00:19:48   their review showed up pretty high.

00:19:51   They were complaining about some of the design changes I did in 3.0.

00:19:57   It took me a while.

00:19:58   I wrote this response.

00:19:59   It took probably 15 minutes to write, even though it's like two sentences.

00:20:03   That's because the famous thing like I forgive my letter for being so long.

00:20:06   I would have written a shorter one, but I didn't have time.

00:20:09   I started writing a whole bunch of different ways to address this.

00:20:12   It took me a good 15 minutes to come up with the two sentences that I actually thought

00:20:16   I should say here.

00:20:18   It was kind of a general statement of like, "I'm sorry this design isn't working for you.

00:20:23   I try to please as many people as I can, but sometimes that's not possible," something

00:20:26   like that.

00:20:27   The guy edited his review and clearly thought that was a canned form response, even though

00:20:33   I had never written it to anybody else before.

00:20:35   It took me 15 minutes to compose those two sentences.

00:20:38   He just assumed because it kind of sounded like a canned response, like, "I'm sorry.

00:20:42   I couldn't help you here," or whatever else.

00:20:46   He probably assumes that any response that is kind of like that on an App Store review

00:20:51   is just a canned response.

00:20:53   There's no thought behind it, even though in this case there was tons of thought behind

00:20:56   it.

00:20:58   You have to take that risk too.

00:21:00   Again, what are people going to expect from the entire App Store as a whole is going to

00:21:04   impact the assumptions they go into when they see your response.

00:21:10   I don't think a basic like, "Hey, thanks for reviewing us."

00:21:14   I don't think that is productive.

00:21:17   I don't think people want that.

00:21:19   I think if you did that, people would not receive it as well as you might think.

00:21:23   It might seem overly eager or creepy or just kind of desperate.

00:21:29   I don't think that's a good look.

00:21:30   >>

00:21:30   Yeah.

00:21:31   I think that's probably, in general, I think this is an area where probably less is more.

00:21:38   It's one of these things that I think we could easily get carried away with using.

00:21:43   It's time spent.

00:21:48   It's a wonderful tool for us, and there are areas, especially for those top reviews, having

00:21:55   good answers for those makes a lot of sense.

00:21:58   But I think this very easily could become this rabbit hole of trying to squeeze too

00:22:03   much out of this feature is almost certainly going to become counterproductive.

00:22:09   It's going to be something that is taking time away from the actual thing that will

00:22:13   make your app a five-star app, which is making your app better.

00:22:20   Convincing one person to give you one more star is nice, but making your app better with

00:22:27   a new version that is going to address the problems that people are having, that's a

00:22:32   much more robust and sustainable solution rather than getting into lots of little issues

00:22:39   with this.

00:22:40   And especially, it's one of these things that some people are writing reviews for very different

00:22:44   reasons.

00:22:45   It is something that we don't control, and especially because it's not this venue where

00:22:51   it's this nice threaded conversation.

00:22:54   You can say something, and then they can say something, and they're doing it by updating

00:22:59   their review.

00:23:00   And so you can end up with these very disjoint situations if you go too far down that road.

00:23:05   So in general, less is more probably.

00:23:07   And I think the question of how far back to go, like I heard, I think it was on Core Intuition,

00:23:13   I think it was Daniel Jelkow was saying that he was responding to reviews from years ago.

00:23:19   That just kind of blows my mind.

00:23:20   I think in general, keeping this fairly current is something that makes sense, that responding

00:23:25   to reviews as they come in makes some amount of sense.

00:23:30   And in this initial period, maybe responding or at least reading and deciding if you want

00:23:36   to respond to all the reviews for the current version seems about reasonable.

00:23:41   But beyond that, I probably wouldn't go too much farther back.

00:23:44   - Yeah, and kind of expanding a little bit on the less is more angle, again, keep in

00:23:48   mind, as you mentioned, that you're posting this response, but then the user who wrote

00:23:54   the review is prompted and will likely edit the review.

00:23:59   And so you have to make sure that if somebody, assuming that you're not gonna be keeping

00:24:03   on top of every single response you write to see if the person edited it and then see

00:24:06   if you need to edit your response and everything, like that's not productive.

00:24:10   So keep in mind, though, that your response might not make as much sense if the user's

00:24:18   review is heavily edited after you gave the response.

00:24:21   And so write the responses with that in mind.

00:24:24   So for instance, one of the responses I wrote, and I haven't actually done that many of them,

00:24:28   honestly, but one of the responses I wrote was one of the top reviews was asking about

00:24:32   battery life, saying the new version seemed to use more battery life.

00:24:36   And so in my response, I didn't really specifically call out anything in particular about the

00:24:44   question that was asked.

00:24:46   I gave a more kind of general response about battery usage in the app.

00:24:51   And I said basically, here's the kinds of things that make any podcast app use more

00:24:56   battery power.

00:24:58   And here, playing fast, using the screen brightness and the speaker and everything else.

00:25:02   And I was like, I've tested Overcast, I tested Overcast against other podcast apps, and I

00:25:06   try to make sure it's always comparable or better, but if you've figured out anything

00:25:10   else, please let me know, and I'm always trying to find out any areas I might have missed,

00:25:15   something like that, right?

00:25:18   And so I gave an answer that no matter what the review is edited to, that will still basically

00:25:23   make sense as a standalone written piece there.

00:25:27   And I think it's important to do that because again, whatever you respond to, the user who

00:25:33   wrote the review can then edit the review to say anything.

00:25:36   So if you just say, I agree, the person who responded to the review is saying, this app

00:25:41   sucks.

00:25:42   Or the person who edited the review is saying, this app sucks.

00:25:44   And then your response is there saying, I agree.

00:25:47   So you have to always make sure that you are accounting for the fact that the thing you're

00:25:51   responding to can change at any time to say anything.

00:25:54   And make sure that your review still makes sense in that context.

00:25:58   >>COREY Yeah, and it's just, yeah.

00:26:01   I mean, the nice thing is in iTunes Connect, you can sign up to get notifications when

00:26:05   users change reviews that you responded to.

00:26:09   So at least you can track that down a little bit.

00:26:11   Also there's a filter in iTunes Connect.

00:26:13   But still, it's definitely good advice to keep that in mind, that you don't control

00:26:17   the other end of this.

00:26:18   And this is all in the public.

00:26:19   It's all public facing, not just like on a public website even, it's like right on your

00:26:23   App Store page.

00:26:25   The last thing that I wanted to just touch on briefly, I think, is the mental health

00:26:30   aspect of responding to reviews.

00:26:33   >>TIM And this is probably worth saying, that I went through and did a little bit of responding

00:26:38   to reviews.

00:26:39   But after that initial wave of just making sure I understand how this process works and

00:26:44   what it looks like, just like I do for my customer support, I've outsourced the actual

00:26:51   day-to-day operation of responding to reviews to someone else.

00:26:55   I have someone else who responds to my first level customer support, and now I have someone

00:26:58   who is on a very part-time basis, but is responding to the reviews in the App Store.

00:27:05   And the main reason why I do that, I mean, it's nice from a time perspective, it frees

00:27:11   me up a little bit and so on, but the main reason why I do that is because I find reading

00:27:19   reviews of my own products can be very detrimental from a motivation, from a happiness, self-worth,

00:27:27   all kinds of very significant things can happen.

00:27:29   And this is one of these things where it's so, reading one really mean, pointed review

00:27:35   about yourself, as always, is the thing that sticks with you.

00:27:40   It's not the thing that, if someone writes this glowing five-star review about how much

00:27:43   they love the app, that's nice.

00:27:45   And I wish it stuck with me more, but it's almost always these mean, intentionally vindictive

00:27:52   kind of reviews that people will write.

00:27:56   So that's why, for me, I decided, in the same way that I haven't really been reading my

00:28:00   App Store reviews very much over the last few years, it's like, this is not a reason

00:28:04   for me to get back into that game.

00:28:06   I remember what that did cognitively to me, and so it's like, you know what, I will just

00:28:12   pay a little bit of money to have someone else do that, because for them, it's not personal.

00:28:16   For them, it's not that same thing when they're, if someone's attacking the product that I

00:28:22   made, it feels like they're attacking me.

00:28:25   Whereas, if someone else is slightly more separated from that product, it's more just

00:28:31   a job, it's a thing, and it almost has more of a comedy to it, perhaps, so it softens

00:28:38   the blow.

00:28:39   So just something to keep in mind, that while this is a useful tool, while this is something

00:28:42   that I'm glad we have, be careful and really speak cognizant of the impact that it is having

00:28:48   on you, and be careful about, then, how you do that, and when in the day you do that,

00:28:53   or how you're feeling emotionally.

00:28:56   If this is something that you're doing, and you're feeling really sad or down that day,

00:29:00   maybe don't go read your App Store reviews.

00:29:02   That's unlikely to make you feel better.

00:29:05   - Yeah, I would say that's good advice in general.

00:29:08   In general, you don't need to read your App Store reviews very often or very closely.

00:29:13   I think it's important to do what we said earlier, view them in the same way that the

00:29:18   public views them.

00:29:19   So look at your store page occasionally and see which ones are on top, and see what your

00:29:24   average is.

00:29:25   And I don't think you need to go much further than that, in both reading them or responding

00:29:29   to them.

00:29:30   I have found the same thing, that reading my App Store reviews is almost never a good

00:29:34   thing for my motivation or my mental state, and so I mostly just don't do it, and I'm

00:29:39   very happy not doing it.

00:29:41   And that will probably continue.

00:29:43   So anyway, thanks everybody for listening, and we'll talk to you next week.

00:29:46   - Bye.

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