BlackBerry's 5-star BBM app reviews reportedly fake
BlackBerry says it does not condone such behaviour and is working with Google on a solution
While BlackBerry may be celebrating the launch of its BBM messaging app on Apple and Android devices, many of the rave reviews on the Google Play store look to be fake.
On Tuesday, the struggling smartphone maker boasted that its BBM app had been downloaded 10 million times on Apple and Android devices in the first 24 hours after its launch.
We do not approve of or condone such activities and are committed to working with Google to resolve this.- Victoria Berry, BBM communications director, BlackBerry
Customer reviews on those sites has been overwhelmingly positive, with an average of 3.5 stars on the Apple app store, and an average of 4.2 on the Google Play store with 88,000 five-star reviews.
However, five of the top eight reviews are identical, saying "Thank you so much blackberry team. I was waiting this app. Its really great user friendly and smooth."
Looking through more pages reveals dozens more identical reviews, most rated five stars.
Victoria Berry, communications director for BBM at BlackBerry told CBC News, "We do not approve of or condone such activities and are committed to working with Google to resolve this."
And although the BBM app has been downloaded 10 million times, it is not clear how many are actively using the service. When the app is downloaded, users must enter their email address to "get in line" to activate the app, and the wait times are in some cases over 24 hours.
BlackBerry says more than 500,000 people are being moved to the front of the line every hour.