After notifying Page admins that it would soon remove the Discussions tab app and the “Send an Update” tool, Facebook is now alerting admins that the “Reviews” tab app it developed will also be removed from Pages on October 31st. The app let users give a star rating and write an optional text review of a Page or app. A notice visible to admins at the top of Pages that have installed the Reviews tab reads “The best way to encourage conversation and feedback s through posts and comments on your wall. To focus on this, we’ll be removing the Reviews app on October 31st.”
For now, users can write recommendations for Places that are then featured on that Place’s sidebar and published to the news feed. Features to replace Reviews, Discussions, and Send an Update may be coming soon though, as the Help Center about the change explains,”We’re working on tools to help you moderate, filter and manage content in one powerful place. Stay tuned.” This could be a sign that Pages may receive the Timeline redesign recently applied to user profiles, which would allow admins to curate user feedback and their own posts to draw attention to positive reviews and lively discussions.
At its peak in November 2010 before the Page redesign that made tab apps less prominent, Reviews had 21.4 million monthly active users and 1.66 million daily active users, according to AppData. The app’s usage was on the decline when Facebook stopped reporting its user counts in June 2011.
Facebook has changed the placement and function of the Reviews app several times since its launch. Facebook allows Page admins to add the Reviews app, but shows also shows it by default on the Pages representing all third-party canvas apps. These Pages display a Review Summary with the app’s average star rating below the navigation menu. In the past there has been problems with developers leaving fake positive reviews of their own apps to boost their star rating average. Facebook also temporarily let users leave a star rating upon uninstalling an app, though this option was removed as the generally low star ratings added during this flow were skewing the averages.
As of October 31st, users won’t be able to leave new reviews on business Pages through the app, and old reviews will become inaccessible. Therefore, Facebook is urging Page admins to manually archive their existing reviews if they want to retain them. It is unclear whether the Reviews app and Reviews Summary will be removed from app Canvas Pages as well as standard business Pages. We have contacted Facebook and are awaiting clarification.