Facebook to provide developers with new app ratings metric

Along with the new App Center dashboard Facebook announced today, the company says it will soon provide developers with a “app ratings metric” for them to understand how users rate their app over time.

App ratings, which are on a scale of one to five stars, will be broken down by age and gender. This will give developers new insight into the feedback their apps receive. Previously, developers could only see their apps’ average overall rating and they could not see how the rating varied over time.

Facebook is putting a renewed focus on star ratings since eliminating the feature from apps in October 2011. At one point it seemed Facebook would focus on helping users discover games through their friends rather than anonymous ratings, which could be manipulated by developers and biased players. Then in early April, star ratings returned. Now instead of having a reviews tab that anyone can access at any time, Facebook has been randomly prompting users to rate apps while or after they use them. It is unclear whether this will continue to be the way users rate apps or whether they will be able to rate apps from the App Center or directly within an app.

Either way, developers will be looking for ways to maximize their ratings since Facebook says “Success through the App Center is tied to the quality of an app. We use a variety of signals, such as user ratings and engagement, to determine if an app is listed in the App Center.”

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