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Most Common Words Used in App Store Reviews: Developers, Listen Up

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With the App Store achieving over 6.5 billion downloads, and the number of apps reaching a quarter million, what are some common words people have used to rate apps? Marco Arment decided to figure this out, and his results should be worth some excellent advice for iOS developers.

Arment created a script to analyze US App Store customer review for the top 100 app from every category. The purpose of this was to analyze the most common words used when people were rating the worst (1-star) and best (5-star) apps. Words used in 3-star reviews were excluded. Here are his results:

These are the top words by rating, with descending frequency:

★★★★★:
awesome, worth, thanks, amazing, simple, perfect, price, everything, ever, must, ipod, before, found, store, never, recommend, done, take, always, touch

★☆☆☆☆:
waste, money, crashes, tried, useless, nothing, paid, open, deleted, downloaded, didn’t, says, stupid, anything, actually, account, bought, apple, already

Bold words are adjectives or likely to be used as adjectives in context.

Marco goes on to conclude the following:

  • awesome apps are liked; ones that crash are disliked (not surprising)
  • “simple” as one of the top positive words used indicates what people expect from the iOS platform
  • price is a huge factor in both positive and negative reviews. Are people just too cheap to pay $1.99 for an app, but are willing to pay $5 for a latte (and the cost of upgrading hardware every year)?
  • The liberal and unfair usage of the word “useless” in negative reviews. Hey, at least App Store reviewers haven’t reached the scary level of YouTube commenters– the scariest people on the planet.

So in a nutshell, here’s what you need to do to create that “big hit” in the App Store: make an app that is awesome, amazing and simple to use and make the user feel it is worth the amazing $0.99 price. The word “perfect” should come to mind in describing your app.

How often do you rate apps in the App Store? Have you ever used any of the words listed above for negative/positive reviews?

[Marco.org via DF]

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