In a recently deleted thread over at Developing for Windows Phone forum, a brand new user has posted his new “business” idea – generating fake reviews. Here is a part of that post copied verbatim:
All you know how it is hard sometimes to increase number of downloads and own earnings in Windows Phone Store. Many of us spent hours to develop best apps for store. And what we usually get after polishing apps? Dozens or hundreds downloads… Very disappointed though.
I can suggest you new revolution service. We can post dozens and even hundreds real natural reviews in Windows Phone Store. I am a CEO in startup team which includes 20 members. What we can suggest:
1. Posting 5-start reviews on your apps
2. Posting 1-start reviews on apps of your competitors
3. (NEW!) Promoting your apps in reviews to apps of your competitors
This is a horrible business idea which completely destroys the rating system with loads of generated data. The post continued with links to applications which were “hit” by these generated reviews. To prove his point, the user posted several links that prove that his data works. Judge for yourself:
Samples of our works:
5-start review (on your apps)
1-star reviews (on apps of your competitors)
In the end, the user tries to explain that his method is perfectly valid and legal. Here is the rest of his original post:
Promoting your apps in reviews to competitors apps
“Youtube++ is way better”
“Alex, You must be the developer of this app… Trust me it is useless. I know bc I just downloaded it!!! It sucks. I have been using it for 2 days bc I actually test drive these apps to see what they are made of. You should go download YouTube++. See what a real YT app is supposed to do and then come fix this one. Then tell me this app is good”
“All these YT apps are exactly the same! YouTube++ is the only decent one out there. I am truly disappointed!”
“Horrible. It doesn’t allow u to do anything. DONT DOWNLOAD! Every free version I’ve tried sucks. I am deleting and will stick to “Facebook WP8″, one that I paid 0.99 cents for. It is much better.”
We can promote and increase position of your app even it is totally simple as Tic-Tac-Toe or 2+2 calculator.
This is absolutely legal because reviews are natural.
We are working on this market about last 4 months and already posted about 1000 reviews. You can see from our samples that many of reviews were posted more than 2 months ago and were not removed by Microsoft. This is because we are absolutely legal.
I hope that Microsoft can detect such spam accounts and that they can be deleted easily. A few hundred or thousand reviews can either sink the app or bring it to the top of the charts. We don’t want either, reviews should be, if not accurate, at least honest.