The User Review Tipping Point

I read a very interesting report recently on how user reviews act as a tipping point. (link is here) The long and short of it is that 20 reviews seemed to be the tipping point. When you get to around 20 reviews, it makes a big difference in people’s opinions.

We hit 20 reviews in the U.S. iPhone AppStore last week and have seen our sales go up every day since.  (Thanks to all of you who reviewed it. Here’s a press release on the topic.)

Watching sales of FastFigures Mobile has been a roller coaster. We started off strong but of course faded as we left the “What’s New” section and all of our faithful customers purchased. Then it was a matter of watching for bottom. It just kept getting a little worse every day. It was killing me!

The biggest saving grace during that time was the wonderful things people were saying about FastFigures. I still can’t believe it. (This is version 1 folks! If you think it’s good, wait to see what I have in mind next!)

As of this morning, we have 27 reviews, 26 of which are 4 or 5 stars! We had one 2 star rating and to be honest, I’m quite thankful for it. It was starting to look like I paid people to say nice things about us! (If you are someone who has tried it and don’t like it, it’s okay if you don’t review it at the AppStore, though. I’d rather you email me and tell me what you don’t like so I can fix it.)

It took a week but we found bottom. I spent a bunch of time trying to figure out how people would find us and played with language to learn about the AppStore’s search mechanism. We made strategic decisions to change the way we were delivering the application, changing the name from FastFigures Mobile to FastFigures Finance Calculator in the process.

And then these changes started to take affect. And sales steadied out. And it became clear that we had found a nice, steady bottom (and one I could live with). And — the best part — the anxiety subsided and I slept again.

But then a funny thing happened. We hit 20 reviews in the U.S. version of the AppStore. Since then our sales have gone up EVERY DAY! And visions of actually making a living wage have returned! Let’s hope it isn’t just more bumps on this roller coaster. I could use a nice, steady uphill climb.

6 thoughts on “The User Review Tipping Point

  1. Hola,

    Just found your blog via the OTBC email about Infinity Softworks. Congrats on your iPhone app success, and thanks for the thoughtful posts on the realities of launching software products. I have such dreams for the future, and it’s great to read about the realities of getting it done.


  2. Congrats,

    As you know already, it’s about getting noticed.
    I like your net version and, if I end up with an iPhone, I’ll buy that one too. I have been a powerOne fan for years.

    Best regards,


  3. Pingback: Twenty Terrific — A Reviews Revelation

  4. “changing the name from FastFigures Mobile to FastFigures Finance Calculator in the process” – is this still possible? It seems like (w/i iTunesConnect) that you can no longer change an app’s name once it’s submitted.

  5. I sure hope you are tweaking this as an app for Google OS and the new Droid.

    From a reliable source:

    Driod users will have more good apps (paid & unpaid) than most will ever use within a year. This will be THE OS & app combination in two years and be a crusher in 4 (or less.) You heard it from R2D2 and I know my droids.

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