Apptrace takes the pain out of app review insight with sentiment analysis

Mobile analytics firm Adeven has unveiled a new feature of its free Apptrace service that allows developers to track the sentiment of reviews on their iOS apps from within App Store.

Their complex algorithms are capable of analysing millions of reviews a day, providing daily statistical feedback. The platform currently measures three metrics, which it gleans from the language of user reviews. These criteria are positivity, addictiveness and crash complaints.

The platform is totally free for developers to use, and includes the ability to view historical sentiment information, delivering insight on how your latest update has affected positive sentiment towards your app, or allowing you to compare your addictiveness rating against your closest competitor over time.

For apps receiving a large number of reviews, the system takes the human bias out of the process of gathering insight from this feedback. Interestingly, and surprisingly, Apptrace’s analysis has shown that the vast majority of reviews are positive [more interesting statistics in their inforgraphic below].

However, according to Paul Muller, chief technical officer and co-founder at Adeven, human nature dictates that someone collating their own reviews manually would be inclined to focus on the positive reviews, ending up with a skewed overview.

“We dug down a bit and realised there’s this addictiveness rating that describes not just how much people like to use the app, but how prone they are to using it on a regular basis,” he says.

“You have loads of apps that get very good reviews, they’re very good apps, but they have absolutely no addictiveness,” he adds. “It may be a very cool one-time app, but of course that’s not what you want, especially if you’re launching into the free-to-play market where a very high addictiveness rating is the pinnacle.”

The system can also provide a quick indication if you have serious crash problems. Reviews talking about issues, bugs, crashes are incredibly common, but for a human it’s very hard to define the threshold between normal crashing reports and a serious problem.

With more updates in the pipeline, Apptrace will be adding more sentiment to its feedback apparatus next year; including negative feedback, and a criteria that shows how users respond to advertising within apps.

This ad sentiment criteria is a hat tip to Adeven’s other product line, mobile advertising analytics, and indicates how it uses the Apptrace platform to provide a complete picture of the app ecosystem; a strategy that allows the firm to offer this platform to developer at no charge.

Apptrace will also add developer dashboard function next year, that will allow users to manage their various apps and easily compare against competitors.

“Download prediction is one of the coolest things we’re looking at right now,” says Muller. Based on your iTunes Connect Reports, Apptrace will correlate your downloads per country, the position your app holds, and using data from many developers, can provide insights into what kind of download rates you might expect and in what countries.

Look out for this next year. It will all be part of free service.  “The main feature is that it is all free – our aim is to advance the whole ecosystem,” Müller said. “It gives developers, just like the tech guys who work here at adeven, the possibility to gain insights into how their apps are performing and how their competitors are doing.”

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