Starting November 2021, Google PlayStore ratings will see localization around the world. If this happens what it will mean is that Google will aggregate scores from users in one country and create a localized score. As such, an app’s rating in the India, for example, could be very different from that same app’s rating in the US or Japan the Google Play Store.
Google explained this upcoming change in a blog post today. Here’s a relevant snippet:
We’ve heard from both Play Store users and developers that ratings and reviews could be more helpful. This is especially true when ratings from one area unfairly impact another — like when a bug that only impacted a single country negatively affects the app’s rating everywhere.
Google explained this change in the Google Playstore by using an example of “positive improvements in a tablet experience” for an app getting “overlooked because of the number of users on phones.”
Changes to Google Playstore Rating
- From November 2021, users on phones will start to see ratings specific to their registered country
- Early in 2022 users on other form-factors such as tablets, Chromebooks, and wearables will start to see ratings specific to the device that they’re on
This will affect all sorts of different platforms, including foldable phones, Android Auto-focused apps, and more.
Google did not give a firm rollout date for the introduction of form factor variables for Play Store ratings.
Google’s example there makes a lot of sense. Cultural issues could also affect Play Store ratings. For example, a game that is designed to cater to people who speak French and are aware of French culture might not be well-received by people from other countries. Why should that game’s rating get lowered by negative reviews from people who don’t “get” it?