New products almost always benefit from an influx of positive online reviews, especially if they’re one of the first of their kind. The Portal and Portal+ devices by Facebook are a great example, as the company is taking their first step into the smart home marketplace. With the ability to video chat people on your friends list, these large screens are attempting to change the way that people connect around the world.
If you visit the product pages on Amazon, you might notice something a bit unusual, however. Amidst the massive amount of five-star reviews, a portion of them aren’t quite as genuine as one would hope. You guessed it – Facebook employees are leaving reviews for their own product.
Aside from the mere ethical boundary that these employees have crossed, it’s clear that the glowing reviews they’ve created are simply not accurate. Even if they all have their own Portal devices and do truly believe it’s a great product, there’s no way they can objectively discuss it. Many new tech items are inherently filled with glitches, and individuals whose salaries and bonuses might rely on the Portal’s success certainly aren’t going to bring those to the forefront of any review.
While officials at Facebook have asked the employees to remove their feedback, it’s safe to say that the damage has already been done. Even if a consumer hasn’t read any of the reviews, there’s a high likelihood that they’ve heard about this issue and will, therefore, be skeptical about any additional feedback they see. Will this issue be the kiss of death for the Portal and Portal+? Only time will tell.
Individuals who have a large number of employees certainly can’t always know what’s happening at every moment, and particularly at a large organization like Facebook, things can go unnoticed with ease. However, if you are a part of a team and you suspect that there may be some dishonest behavior when it comes to leaving false reviews, it’s crucial that you address the issue as soon as possible.
It may be easier to implement specific policies that have to do with reviews in a broader sense, including designating only certain personnel to respond to negative reviews or complaints and developing strategic management positions that are responsible for the company’s overall online reputation.
All in all, Facebook is such a big company that even if the Portal products don’t perform well after this debacle, they’ll probably be just fine. However, it is a lesson to be learned from all that instead of focusing on generating great reviews, creating a great product should be at the top of the priority list.
Having been bitten by the writing bug at the young age of 6, Courtney gets to live her dream every day by creating content for a wide range of clients. When she’s not typing away at the computer, she loves spending time with her two sons in the Pacific NW.