26 June 2012Android Developers Blog:
That’s why we’re adding the ability for Google Play developers to respond to reviews from the Google Play Android Developer Console. Developers can gather additional information, provide guidance, and — perhaps most importantly — let users know when their feature requests have been implemented.
I’ve certainly wanted to be able to do this for Bingo Machine in the iTunes App Store. I don’t think Apple has done this as of yet, as they foresee the functionality being abused by some developers who post snap-retorts to 1-star reviews.
Even Google is wary in rolling this feature out; a response cannot turn into a threaded conversation1 and the permission has only been given to a small curated set of developers, for now. I think these restrictions are very sensible, at least for the short-term, to test the waters for what could be a really helpful addition to the store.
1 A developer can only respond once, per comment. I think this great, and stunts most trolling opportunities upfront. If a customer wants to talk more, they are encouraged to take the discussion to a private channel, like email.