Nishtha KanalJan 09, 2014 18:14:07 IST
Yahoo! wanted to make a big splash at the Consumer Electronics Show at Las Vegas this year. And the company launched an iOS-only news app as well as a couple of websites based around technology and food, and also announced news of acquisition of Aviate, an Android app.
The news app, aptly called Yahoo News Digest, was based off Summly, the company purchased by Yahoo last year. The app aims to condense news into small, consumable packets and packs them off to users in doses of two updates a day. The app was released officially earlier this week is barely a couple of days old, but has gained rave reviews and a four-and-a-half star rating on the Apple App Store, along with the top spot in the News category.
Some of the reviewers, it seems, have a soft spot for any and every application launched by Yahoo as nearly all their reviews rate them a hefty sum of five stars and a good word to go along with it. TechCrunch points out that some of the users who have reviewed the application include a Mobility Architect at Yahoo, Jonathan Raspaud and Yahoo! India employee Rahul Aneja.
Buzzfeed reports about an exchange between Nick D’Aloisio, the teenage founder of Summly and David Pogue, head of Yahoo Tech on stage after the CES event. Now, both are employed by Yahoo and despite being a senior technology journalist with a long-standing reputation, Pogue managed to gloss over the fact that some of the reviews seemed shady. The fact that it received rave reviews and four-and-a-half stars was mentioned but pretty much nothing else.
While it isn’t really a crime to go about planting five-star reviews, it is still misleading to those who look up to the App Store's charts to buy new apps. Instead of opting in for organic reviews, Yahoo employees seem to be running riot on the App Store in order to build hype around the app. Of course, Yahoo does not read too much into the story. A representative from the company said that Yahoo has instructed its employees not to write reviews and blamed “a case of enthusiasm” for the five star reviews flooding the App Store. This still does not explain same rave reviews left on other Yahoo apps, though, which are certainly not among the best in the App Store
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