Google Play - Reply to Comments Enabled for All Developers?

I just saw a post on Droid Life, which seems to indicate a number of “normal” developers can now reply to comments on Google Play:

Some months ago, Google began to allow top application developers in Google Play to respond directly to user comments through the web interface. As of today, it isn’t just for top developers. Just recently, our buddy Dave Kover (aka Kovdev) found that he has the ability to do the same, as well as other app developers that aren’t considered “huge.”

Does anyone here have this feature enabled yet? I just checked my account, but no such luck! :frowning:

I didn’t have it enabled either.
Weird thing is if you go to the application mentioned in the article (,
you can see the user’s comment but not the developer comment shown in the screenshot of the article. :\

How do you reply?

Still can’t reply either. I asked on reddit a few days ago and nearly everyone said they couldn’t either: Anyone here have the ability to reply to users comments/reviews on the Play Store yet? : androiddev

It’s now finally enabled for everyone!

Reply To Comments Enabled For All Google Play Developers

Hmmm ill put…keywords in replies :smiley:

Guerrilla marketing ! I like VERY MUCH !!!

Interesting idea. We’ll soon see if they index the replies or only the original comments! :slight_smile: Although Google does say, if you abuse the privilege your account may be terminated. So I’m not going to be trying this myself. I think I’ll get enough benefit from being able to follow up users’ complaints and queries directly.

I got this ability to reply about a month or two back - at that time someone posted about it and no one replied - so I thought it was enabled for everyone.

So maybe I was part of the last test batch.

This is a much needed feature that only the big app developers used to have - for one thing it will reduce some developer anxiety at not being able to reply to some often-repeated issue with the app (only way possible earlier was to put the reply in the description).

Regarding guerilla marketing - yes, I seem to recall that comments are part of it and even that developer comments may help in that - though one would THINK that developer comments should not be part of it, my gut feeling is that in the early stage Google WOULD use that (why exclude info). And they may prune it later. Or maybe they will prune it by revoking the privilege if developers are using it to game the system.

As someone pointed out before, the risk of losing comment privilege and/or getting the developer account closed have been mentioned as risks - or google requests developers to act like an agent of the company basically (instead of a developer with “attitude”). Given Google lack of appeals process (or awareness of such processes), the “rumored” behavior of Google as a check on developer behavior is essentially a “terror tactic” i.e. where the retribution could be anything or arbitrary.

Google should set up an arbitration center - or perhaps related to the recent EU anti-trust settlement, perhaps a developer group should have been party to the restrictions on the company. These companies are getting so big that they no longer can arguably be called “one of many” - as it stands developers have a choice of 2-3 app stores - and they are not interchangeable - each one is a monopoly in it’s own niche (i.e. Google, Apple, Amazon).

Adding this in later:

Looking at the comments at:

“Users receive an email notification when you reply and can either reply to you directly by email, or update their review if they choose to do so – though keep in mind that users are not obligated to update their reviews. You can also update your reply at any time.”

That seems to answer how some of the commenters replied immediately to my comments - so there is definitely an immediate communication to the commenter.

This of course assumes that their Google Play account is tied to some e-mail app - which they are monitoring (i.e. they are using their Google Play ID for their regular e-mail - or they monitor their GP e-mail just because they left it on by default).

Some users may not use the same ID for their e-mail (or may not be monitoring the e-mail) - even though they maybe able to comment using their ID on Google Play.

Today I sat down and went through all the reviews where people had specific problems with my game. I replied to about 20 reviews either apologizing for bugs in the earliest release that the user tried or (in one case), telling the user the reason the game was not working when he tried was because Google App Engine was down (which was true).

A number of users changed their reviews because of this and Anagram Hero’s rating went from 4.18 -> 4.23.

People have a bad experience and leave shitty reviews because they are pissed and this is the only way to communicate with the developer. Then they forget about it, or adopt a ‘serves the developer right’ attitude. Being nice/helpful and showing that you care about your players gets you a lot of positive feedback.

I’ve replied to some of the positive comments - and a few of the negative ones - perhaps at the back of my mind there was the sense that if I commented to the negative it may raise it’s relevance and bring it in front (so replying to one-liner negative comments may not help that much - but replying to reasonably negative comments maybe better).

However, I may try replying to more negative comments - also even the one-liner bad commenters have taken the time to reply - so they can’t be all that blase can they ?

Unless of course there are commenter outfits (the same types that get paid to put comments may also be doing bad comments - after all the companies which promise getting apps into top 100 may do such things i.e. anything which moves other apps up ?).

Well, I’m almost sure I’ve received some negative comments from competition. But only a few looked like that - they cost me a lot once though - two bad reviews caused me to lost half of my downloads for two days until they got burried in good reviews.

Well, developers DO have some control over the comments - if you have one or two phones at your disposal you can vote the comments up/down in relevance (though maybe better to avoid labelling them spam as that is a bit extreme). This does tend to affect the order of the comments.

For example some comments wind up staying at the top - and these are some of the better/more descriptive comments usually - so they comments themselves ARE being rated also by users it seems.

Yeah, I think those two bad reviews were thankfully downvoted later. :slight_smile: