Knowledge base

Interpreting Numbers with the Ratings Report

With our ratings report, comes one common question. How can an app have negative ratings?

We have the answer!

How can an app have negative ratings under 'new' ratings?

A few factors can have an app populating negative ratings. Below are three reasons which would impact numbers.

1. Back in early 2018, Apple began allowing the app developer to decide whether the ratings would reset with a new app version. In the past, ratings were automatically reset with each new version. It's now in the hands of the app developer.

If opting to reset the ratings with a new version release, the ratings under the "new" toggle will display as negative until the app begins to accumulate enough ratings to return to earlier numbers.

2. Google and Apple have both been known to go in and "clean up" or remove ratings they believe to be tied to bots. When those are removed, they'll populate as negative numbers in the report.

This "clean up" can look a lot like the next instance however, these removals happen in bulk and can be country specific.

3. Lastly, if a user updates their rating from one star to another, the original rating will show as a negative as it's been changed.

For example, let's say a user on March 2nd left a 2 star rating. The next day, March 3rd, that same user noticed the app released an update which positively changed their perspective toward the app. So on 3/3, the user changed their rating from a 2 star to a 4 star. The below example will show how the update is recorded.

March 2nd

New:

-2 star rating = 1

Overall:

  • 5 star rating = 1
  • 3 star rating = 2
  • 2 star rating = 1

March 3rd

New:

  • 4 star rating = 1

Overall:

  • 5 star rating = 1
  • 4 star rating = 1
  • 3 star rating = 2
  • 2 star rating =-1

Additional details about the ratings report can be found through another knowledge base article, Keeping Track of App Ratings with Appfigures if any extra reporting references are needed!