ASO Factors: Reviews (and the Power of Social Media)

Are Reviews a Ranking Factor in App Store Optimization?

A common question among app developers and marketers is whether user reviews affect ASO and if they are indeed a ranking factor in the app store algorithms of Apple and Google. In this post, we will explore the impact of reviews on ASO and propose theories on how the app store algorithms may use review ratings and numbers as ranking factors.

The Influence of Reviews on ASO (this is not as clear as it seems)

User reviews play a significant role in ASO as they contribute to the following:

  1. User perception: Reviews shape potential users’ opinions about an app, with positive reviews creating a favorable impression and increasing the likelihood of downloads. Conversely, negative reviews can deter potential users and even lead to uninstalls.
  2. Organic downloads: High-quality, positive reviews can increase the app’s credibility and encourage organic downloads.
  3. Feedback for improvement: Reviews provide insights into users’ experiences and help developers identify areas requiring improvement. By addressing these issues, developers can enhance the user experience, leading to higher ratings and improved ASO.

Theories on Reviews as a Ranking Factor in the App Store Algorithms

Though Apple and Google have not explicitly disclosed the inner workings of their app store algorithms, several theories suggest that reviews could play a role in determining app rankings:

  1. Rating as an indicator of quality: The average rating of an app may be considered a quality signal by the algorithms. Apps with higher ratings are perceived as more reliable and of higher quality, which could influence the app store algorithms to rank them higher in search results.
  2. Review volume as a signal of popularity: The number of reviews an app receives may be considered an indicator of its popularity. App store algorithms might use this information to rank more popular apps higher in search results, as they are more likely to be relevant and useful to users.
  3. Review recency as an indicator of relevance: The recency of reviews could also play a role in app store rankings. More recent reviews may be considered more relevant and up-to-date, which could lead the algorithms to prioritize apps with recent, positive reviews.
  4. Review sentiment as a signal of user satisfaction: App store algorithms may analyze the sentiment expressed in reviews to gauge user satisfaction. Apps with predominantly positive sentiments in their reviews could be ranked higher, as they may be more likely to meet users’ needs and expectations.

Look, let me be hones while the exact workings of app store algorithms remain undisclosed, there is evidence to suggest that reviews play a role in ASO and could be a ranking factor in the app store algorithms of both Apple and Google. Maintaining a high average rating, encouraging user feedback, and addressing issues promptly can contribute to improved app rankings and overall success in the competitive app market.

The Impact of Reviews on App Store Optimization and Conversion Rates

App Store Optimization (ASO) is a crucial aspect of app marketing, as it directly affects an app’s visibility, organic downloads, and overall success. One significant factor in ASO is user reviews, which play a vital role in shaping user perception and influencing conversion rates. In this section, we will examine the effects of reviews on ASO and present data illustrating how lower reviews can adversely impact conversion in the App Store. We will also provide examples to support our points.

The Role of Reviews in ASO

User reviews serve several essential functions in ASO, including:

  1. Influencing user perception: High-quality, positive reviews create a favorable impression, making potential users more likely to download your app. In contrast, negative reviews can deter users from downloading and even lead to uninstalls.
  2. Affecting app store rankings: Both the quantity and quality of reviews can impact an app’s ranking in search results. Apps with more positive reviews are generally ranked higher in app store search results, making them more visible to potential users.
  3. Providing valuable feedback: Reviews offer developers insights into user experiences and can help identify areas for improvement. This feedback can be used to enhance app features, fix bugs, and create a better user experience, ultimately leading to higher ratings and better ASO.

The Impact of Lower Reviews on Conversion Rates

Negative or low reviews can significantly impact conversion rates in the App Store. According to a study by Apptentive, a one-star increase in an app’s rating can result in a 25% to 35% increase in conversion rates. Conversely, a one-star decrease can lead to a similar decline in conversions. This data highlights the importance of maintaining a high average rating for your app.

Examples Illustrating the Effects of Reviews on ASO

Example 1: Runtastic

Runtastic, a popular fitness app, experienced a decline in downloads after a surge in negative reviews. Users complained about bugs and a lack of essential features. The developers took note of this feedback, fixed the issues, and added requested features. As a result, the app’s rating improved, leading to an increase in downloads and a better position in the app store rankings.

Example 2: Evernote

Evernote, a widely-used note-taking app, faced backlash when it introduced changes to its pricing structure and privacy policy. The negative reviews that followed led to a drop in their average rating and a decline in downloads. By addressing user concerns and making necessary adjustments, Evernote managed to regain user trust and improve its average rating, positively impacting its ASO and conversion rates.

Reviews are a critical component of App Store Optimization, influencing user perception, app store rankings, and conversion rates. Negative or low reviews can result in decreased visibility and lower conversion rates, making it essential for app developers to prioritize user feedback and maintain a high average rating. By actively monitoring and responding to reviews, developers can improve their app’s performance, enhance the user experience, and ultimately achieve greater success in the App Store.

Harnessing the Power of Social Media for App Marketing: Driving Reviews and Brand Awareness

Social media has become an indispensable tool for app marketing and promotion, particularly when it comes to generating reviews and increasing brand awareness. By leveraging the power of various social media platforms, app developers can reach a broader audience and engage potential users. In this expert analysis, we’ll explore five unique strategies for using social media to drive app reviews and provide five real-life case scenarios of app companies that have successfully utilized these tactics.

Strategy 1: Influencer partnerships

Collaborating with influencers who have a strong following on social media can be an effective way to generate buzz around your app. By partnering with influencers whose audience aligns with your target users, you can increase the likelihood of receiving positive reviews and foster brand awareness.

Case Study 1: Calm Meditation app Calm collaborated with several influencers and celebrities, including NBA player LeBron James, to promote its app on social media. These partnerships helped Calm gain credibility, generate reviews, and establish a strong presence in the mindfulness and meditation space.

Strategy 2: Social media contests and giveaways

Hosting contests or giveaways on social media platforms can incentivize users to download your app and leave reviews. By offering rewards such as in-app items, discounts, or exclusive content, you can encourage users to engage with your app and share their experience with their social network.

Case Study 2: Starbucks Starbucks has hosted various social media contests, including the #WhiteCupContest, where users were encouraged to share their customized Starbucks cup designs on Instagram. Participants needed to download the Starbucks app to access the design template, ultimately driving app downloads, reviews, and brand awareness.

Strategy 3: User-generated content

Encourage users to create and share content related to your app on social media platforms. This not only increases brand visibility but also fosters a sense of community and can lead to more app downloads and reviews.

Case Study 3: Pokémon GO The massive success of Pokémon GO can be attributed in part to the extensive user-generated content shared on social media. Players frequently posted screenshots of their gameplay, funny memes, and stories about their experiences, which helped to generate widespread interest and positive reviews for the app.

Strategy 4: Engaging with users on social media

By actively engaging with users on social media, app developers can build trust, encourage reviews, and create a positive brand image. Responding to comments, answering questions, and addressing concerns demonstrates that you care about your users and their experience with your app.

Case Study 4: Duolingo Language learning app Duolingo regularly interacts with its users on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. This active engagement has helped Duolingo build a loyal community of users who are more likely to leave positive reviews and recommend the app to others.

Strategy 5: Leverage hashtags and trends

Utilizing popular hashtags and jumping on trending topics can help increase the visibility of your app on social media platforms. By creating content that aligns with these trends, you can reach new users and encourage them to download and review your app.

Case Study 5: Among Us The popular multiplayer game Among Us gained widespread attention by leveraging trending hashtags and meme culture on platforms like Twitter and TikTok. This helped the app reach a larger audience, resulting in a surge of downloads and positive reviews.


Social media offers a multitude of opportunities for app marketing and promotion. By leveraging influencer partnerships, hosting contests, encouraging user-generated content, engaging with users, and utilizing hashtags and trends, app developers can drive an increase in app reviews and boost brand awareness. By implementing these strategies, app companies can harness the full potential of social media to achieve success in the competitive app marketplace.