Talking tech since 2003

BlackBerry may be all proud that they’re finally getting back on that horse with their new BlackBerry Messenger client available for iOS and Android, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the clients themselves are perfect – though, if you were to look up the reviews of BlackBerry Messenger for Android on Google’s own Google Play store, you might think that the app is a resounding success.

It would appear as if BlackBerry as somewhat of a problem with fake reviews on their hands. Thanks to some minor detective work by one Terence Eden, we now know that many of those supposed reviews are indeed fake reviews and ratings created to boost the rankings of BlackBerry Messenger on Google Play’s search results. Many of the fake reviews have the same exact content written by hundreds of different accounts, all reading some variation of the following:

“Thanks so much blackberry team. I was waiting this app. Its really great user friendly and smooth.”

Google takes fake reviews very seriously, and has recently within the last couple of years implemented various ways to attempt to combat such a scam, primarily by linking Google Play reviews with users’ Google+ social accounts for easy identification. That said, it would also appear that BlackBerry is as unenthused by these fake reviews as Google might be. Reporters have been in contact with BlackBerry representatives on the issue and have managed to obtain a statement from one BlackBerry spokesperson Victoria Berry, who told Canadian media outlet The Globe and Mail:

“We have recently been made aware of a number of potentially fake five-star reviews of BBM for Android on Google Play,”

“We do not approve of or condone such activities and are committed to working with Google to resolve this.”

BlackBerry’s Victoria Berry seems adamant that this faking of reviews is not the fault of BlackBerry – and I personally believe her – but that imposes the question of who is taking the time and effort to post all of these fake reviews? It could always be a case of a rogue partner doing this without BlackBerry’s prior consent thinking that they would be helping the overall brand, however given how easily it is for people to uncover these sorts of underhanded tricks such an attempt seems unlikely from any sort of corporate level.

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