Google has begun allowing app makers to respond to user reviews in its app store, Google Play.
Over the summer, Google began testing the feature with “top developers,” a hand-chosen group of vendors whom Google considers to make quality apps. The company today began opening up the feature to more developers and will eventually extend the privilege to all app makers.
“Conversations are meant to be two-sided, and facilitating discussion between developers and users will ultimately yield better apps, to the benefit of everyone,” the company said in a June blog post announcing the initial launch of the feature. Google declined to provide further comment.
In November, Google began requiring users who leave app reviews in Google Play to do so using their Google+ ID, which the company’s terms of service say should reflect the user’s real name.
Using that information, Google is now notifying users via email when developers respond to their reviews. It is also giving users the opportunity to contact developers directly.
While Google’s real-name policy is controversial, allowing businesses to respond to reviews is a practice other review platforms, including Yelp, have adopted to help mitigate the damage businesses might suffer from a negative review.