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I see more than a few developers soliciting 5-star ratings and good reviews for their App store apps, in their blogs, websites, app store descriptions, even dialogs that pop-up in the app after you've used them for awhile.

What do people consider to be the ethical guidelines regarding such review and ratings solicitations?

What's over the line? (Besides obviously evil stuff, such as paying to have someone forge multiple negative reviews about your competitor's apps, etc.)

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closed as primarily opinion-based by MichaelT, gnat, Bart van Ingen Schenau, GlenH7, World Engineer Oct 25 '13 at 19:20

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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This question isn't really about software development, is it? –  NickC Feb 24 '11 at 23:20
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If so, in which stack exchange forum should app developer questions such as this go? –  hotpaw2 Feb 24 '11 at 23:21
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@Renesis, I believe the question is about whether or not this is a good idea for software, so I feel that it is an appropriate question. –  jzd Feb 24 '11 at 23:32
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In my opinion this question belongs here. +1 vote to stay and not close interesting discussions, as usual. –  Sergio Feb 24 '11 at 23:33
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Marketing seems to be a necessary component of app development these days, especially for small developers. –  hotpaw2 Feb 24 '11 at 23:53
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2 Answers

The way you've worded this question is the same as asking people to promote your app. There's nothing unethical about it.

The most important thing to consider here is how to do it so the user isn't annoyed, and actually motivated to do it (ethically). For example, it would be unethical to offer them something in return for a review.

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Unethical and potentially counterproductive. A lot of people will rate something more positively if they aren't being paid. –  Steve314 Feb 25 '11 at 5:15
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I think it is ethical because it is reminding users that there is a rating system. There is benefit to the users because they can rate up or down for an app. An up cote has a positive effect for a user because it potentially will bring the developer more users and therefore possible allow for further improvements in the app.

What might be unethical is promoting the low rating of apps that the user doesn't currently use.

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