Early reviews of updated Forbes app quite positive (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)

That some people, and some companies, don’t exactly play fair inside the Apple App Store is an old story by now. Publishers and developers have long complained about bogus reviews – both positive and negative – that skew app ratings and encourage or discourage app downloads.

Today the Forbes Magazine Newsstand app was updated. The update added in a new social sharing network called Stream. You can read a bit more about that here.

Appreviews-Forbes-lgForbes has been using the MAZ Digital platform to produce a replica edition of its print magazine for about two years. The new update promises an “all new design, features and functionality!” the app description says.

Before checking it out I wondered if the publisher had moved from a replica to an interactive magazine. So I first went into iTunes to check out the new reader reviews for the app.

Wow, what positive reviews! All but one reader, who couldn’t log into their account, raved about the new app.

But then something didn’t look right.

The first reader goes by the name Sifar apper. This reader has reviewed six magazine apps so far, all given five-star ratings. The magazines are Forbes, Country Weekly, Soap Opera Digest, National Enquirer, Star Magazine and OK Magazine.

The next reviewer is named PeterS2012 who has reviewed four magazines, all five-star ratings. The magazines: Forbes, Country Weekly, Star Magazine and Model Railroad News.

The next review is from gary3838 who once again likes all the magazines he sees, giving five-star reviews to Forbes, Designs in Machine, The Economist Travel, Cake Central.

Next is franklapitas (look up the name to enjoy the irony) who gives Forbes, Soap Opera Digest, National Enquirer, Country Weekly, Star Magazine and Inc. Magazine all five-star ratings.

Next is jcan299 who gives five star reviews to Forbes, Soap Opera Digest, National Enquirer, Country Weekly and Star Magazine.

HorseRacingRobot gives five-star ratings to Forbes, OK Magazine, Soap Opera Digest, National Enquirer, Country Weekly and Star Magazine.

And finally there is GeneHoff who gives five-star ratings to Forbes, OK Magazine, National Enquirer and Star Magazine.

That’s it, that is all the written reviews (except the one negative one from the reader who couldn’t log into their account).

All the magazines listed above, coincidentally, appear to use the same vendor to create their apps.

Make of it what you will.