Paid app reviews are bad app reviews

I’m gonna take a break from reviewing apps right now to rag on someone else’s website even though it means giving them undeserved publicity in the process!

The other day I came across a press release for this ass-ugly website called Wanna guess what they do? They “connect (app) developers with (app review) publishers” and, somewhere in the middle, money will change hands with Review Roster taking a cut.

The reason I’m bringing this up is just so I can call Bullshit! I’ve made it clear in the past that iPhone App does not do paid reviews. It’s true that we did a brief experiment where developers could pay for something called POV which was a point-counterpoint kind of thing (here’s an example), but it wasn’t long before I voluntarily flushed it down the toilet. Money was being made, but I didn’t like how it was being made, so I unilaterally crushed the program with extreme prejudice.

The point is, if you’re reading app reviews at websites that have been paid to write those reviews, what you’re reading is almost certainly a big steaming pile of BS. Think about it… when a customer gives you money, you’re going to want that customer to give you more money in the future, and possibly pissing off said customer with a negative review is bad for business… so the writer is compelled to handle the relationship gently and carefully, and in the end it’s readers who are robbed of the truly unbiased opinion they’re looking for.

Unfortunately for readers like you, and fortunately for sites like Review Roster, there will always be developers willing to do the shady thing and pay to get their app reviewed. But don’t get the wrong idea here… a lot of app developers despise the concept of paid reviews, and I know this because I conducted an informal poll before hatching my short-lived POV thing. I just hope the websites that Review Roster is targeting are above participating in such shenanigans. Yeah I know, people gotz ta get paid, but selling your credibility is the wrong way to do it.


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