Which Factors Influence App Reviews: Case Studies

Marie-Laure Cruytby 
CPO at AppTweak

5 min read

Your app store reviews are a goldmine in terms of customer feedback. However, reviews go way beyond the context of the App Store and the Play Store. They are a great way to better understand how your users interact with your mobile game and what external elements (such as social media content, special events, influencers, computer gaming, etc.) drive them.

Let’s explore a few case studies below.

Reviews are a great source of user feedback and to gauge how well users receive your latest app update. They also help identify the most valued features users would like to see in an app.

However, reviews are also a great means to grasp the context in which your users are playing. We ran our Sentiment Analysis tool on various gaming apps to see practical examples of how you can identify circumstances that influence your users’ behavior and measure the impact they have on your game’s performance.

Influence of computer gaming on mobile games

On August 23rd, Minecraft added new animals to its computer version of the game. The update came with new animals: foxes and bees. These new characters were highly appreciated by Minecraft gamers, in fact, if we look at the reviews the mobile game received in August, we can see that there is a peak in positive reviews on Aug 24th, although there is no update of the mobile game.

AppTweak ASO Tool - Reviews and Ratings: Peak in reviews for Minecraft’s mobile game although the app had no update on the Store. The peak is due to an update of the computer game.

Peak in reviews for Minecraft’s mobile game although the app had no update on the Store. The peak is due to an update of the computer game.

Using our Reviews Sentiment Analysis, we found that the most repeated keywords within the reviews left by users on August 24th included the words “foxes” and “bees”. Both words are associated with positive ratings.

AppTweak ASO Tool Reviews Sentiment Analysis - “bees” and “foxes” appear among the top 12 most repeated keywords of Minecraft’s reviews in August 2019 (iOS US).

“bees” and “foxes” appear among the top 12 most repeated keywords of Minecraft’s reviews in August 2019 (iOS US).

We looked at the reviews that contained these words to better understand what users were saying about “foxes” and “bees.”

Users have left positive reviews, saying that they really enjoyed the game. However, they also asked to add foxes and bees to the mobile version. This is a great example of leveraging user reviews to plan your product roadmap and aligning it to users’ needs.

Learn how to leverage app reviews to make product decisions

AppTweak ASO Tool - Reviews Sentiment Analysis

Minecraft reviews containing “bees” and “foxes” (iOS US).

Importance of YouTube influencers

Lords Mobile gave us another example that shows the value of measuring what your users are talking about in the reviews they leave on your app. We looked at the most repeated keywords across the game’s reviews in September and were surprised to find the word “PewDiePie.”

AppTweak ASO Tool - Reviews Sentiment Analysis

The keyword “pewdiepie” appears among Lords Mobile Most repeated keywords in the game’s September Reviews

Looking at the trend chart for the word “PewDiePie,” we noted a peak around September 9th, correlating with the YouTuber featuring the game in one of his videos early in September. Reviews containing “PewDiePie” had an average rating of 4.8, indicating positive reception among Lords Mobile’s users. The video not only drove extra traffic to the game but also led to a significant increase in downloads, reaching up to five times the usual average traffic.

AppTweak ASO Tool - Download Estimates - Lords Mobile iOS US

Peak in downloads of Lords Mobile as a result of a featuring by YouTuber PewDiePie.

Expert Tip

Discover our quick filters in Sentiment Analysis to identify Most Positive Keywords, Most Negative Keywords, and Most Trending Keywords. Utilize this feature to promptly identify new topics discussed by your users or identify the primary sources of both frustrations and joy. 

AppTweak ASO Tool - Reviews Sentiment Analysis - Lords Mobile and PewDiePie

On September 7th the words “pewdiepie” and “pewds” were among Lords Mobile most trending keywords (iOS US)

Impact of special charity events

Similarly, MrBeast – another famous YouTuber – did a video sponsored by Angry Birds where he promoted their #BringTheAnger Event. Rovio encouraged users to pop pigs in the Angry Birds 2 game, promising to donate $100k to Unicef if 10 billion pigs were popped worldwide.

While going through the game reviews, we saw a surge in positive feedback on November 24th, shortly after the release of MrBeast’s video. This peak wasn’t associated with any app update, but a direct consequence of the video.

AppTweak ASO Tool - Review History - Angry Birds 2 iOS US

Peak in positive reviews for the Angry Birds 2 game (iOS US) after MrBeast video promoting the game.

When we looked at the most trending keywords in Reviews, the words “beast” and “mrbeast” ranked among the top 5 at that time. Almost all reviews containing these words, left by users, were 5-star reviews with an average rating above 4.8. This indicates that users highly appreciated this special event.

AppTweak ASO Tool - Reviews Analysis - Angry Birds 2 Reviews containing

Angry Birds 2 Reviews containing “beast” – iOS US

2019’s most trending searches on the App Store

Capture your gamers’ context with reviews

In short, analyzing reviews offers a great way to gain insights into how your users engage with your game and the factors that influence them beyond the app stores. The examples discussed here represent just a small portion of the various factors attracting gamers to your mobile game.

By mining your reviews, you can comprehend the motivations of your users and the context in which they discovered your game: whether they are experienced computer gamers, found your game through an influencer video, or are newcomers eager to participate in a special event. Capture these circumstances and assess their impact.

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Marie-Laure Cruyt
by , CPO at AppTweak
Marie-Laure is CPO at AppTweak, she has always worked in digital companies with a product focused around an app or a SaaS. She’s a real (dark only) chocolate lover.