A bug that stayed in the Apple App Store for a week erased more than 20 million ratings of popular apps such as Google, Microsoft, Nike, Starbucks and Hulu among others, says a media report.
This massive ratings drop was spotted by the mobile app insights platform Appfigures. The firm found that more than 300 apps from over 200 developers were affected by the sweep, which wiped out a total of 22 million app reviews from the iOS App Store, said a report by TechCrunch on Wednesday.
"More than 300 apps from more than 200 developers, both popular and indie, were affected by this sweep, which erased over 22 million reviews between October 23 and 24. On average, the apps saw a 50% decrease in ratings in affected countries. Some apps however got hit harder than others. Hulu lost 95 percent of its ratings in the US. Chase and Dropbox lost about 85 percent of their ratings in the US," Appfigures said.
It began on October 23 and was not resolved until October 29, TechCrunch reported, and the iPhone maker has accepted the ratings' removal happened due to a bug. The worst hit was the US as some 10 million ratings disappeared. However, the ratings were removed globally, thus, hitting all 155 countries Apple supports including regions like China, the UK, South Korea, Russia, and Australia, with 2.7 million ratings deleted.
"But, it's important to note that most individual apps only got hit in a few countries and not all. This could indicate this isn't a simple “error” but rather something more intentional," the Appfigures blog post added. It then noted that since both positive and negative reviews had been removed, suggesting it wasn't an intentional move by Apple to remove fake reviews.
Appfigures in an update dated Tuesday said that Apple has acknowledged the issue as an error, and is in the process of restoring ratings to all affected apps.