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Thought all those reviews thanking the BlackBerry team for the “user friendly and smooth” BBM app for Android were a bit suspicious? You’re not the only one.
BlackBerry has been quick to distance itself from any shady suggestions after some journalists and tech bloggers raised questions about the volume and type of reviews its app was racking up on Google Play. As one blogger pointed out, the official BBM app for Android seems to be gathering not only a high number of high 5-star rankings, but the descriptions accompanying those reviews look very similar… in fact, almost as though they have been copied and pasted.
In a statement to The Next Web, BlackBerry said that it had been “made aware of a number of potentially fake reviews of BBM for Android on Google Play, with ratings anywhere from one to five stars,” but it was not involved in any way.
We have no knowledge of how these reviews were created or populated. We do not approve of or condone such activities. There are also many genuinely great and useful reviews from our new BBM users on Google Play. We would like to encourage our fans and users to continue to provide true assessments of the BBM experience through the proper channels.
Interestingly, BlackBerry even highlighted how many positive reviews its cross-platform messaging app had received since it launched last week, saying it gathered “60 000 five-star reviews on Google Play from about 87 000 reviews” in the first 24 hours.
Of course, there are genuine positive (and negative) reviews too, but there are also a number of reviews which look like they have been shared en mass with very little alteration, and even one which appears to contain part of the message asking for the user to post a review:
Still, the reviews are adding another element of controversy to the launch for BlackBerry, which was plagued by delays and then went on to see 10-million downloads of its chat app in the first 24 hours after release.