Polina is an undergraduate student at Belarusian State Economic University (BSEU) where she is studying at the faculty of International Business Communication for a degree specializing in Intercultural Communication. In her spare time she enjoys drawing, music and travelling.
The new blockchain-owered reviews system aims to solve the problem of false recommendations, providing value for both consumers and businesses.
Online reviews are of crucial importance for businesses today. They not only help companies build their online reputation, but help them to attract more customers and expand their marketing exposure without spending money on advertising.
Customers tend to trust online reviews as much as they trust recommendations by their friends or family members. According to the latest report by BrightLocal, 84% of people consider online reviews when selecting a product or service, while an astounding 39% read online reviews on a regular basis.
Given the growing importance of online reputation, the amount of false recommendations has significantly increased as well. Many companies delete negative feedback that can ruin their business and hire people to write fake positive reviews. Besides, many reviews are written by robots, so it is becomes extremely difficult to define whether the recommendation is real or not. These issues negatively affect the online reviews industry, reducing people’s trust in feedback platforms.
In 2014, travel website TripAdvisor was fined half a million euros for letting fake reviews on its platform and claiming that the recommendations are always reliable and reflect real user experiences. The company, however, managed to avoid the fine as the court ruled that TripAdvisor never asserted that all the reviews on its platform were real.
One of the most popular review websites, Yelp, has also been criticized that the feedback on the platform is not authentic. Since 2005, the company runs an automated review filtering system designed to display only reliable user reviews. A few years ago, Yelp faced a lawsuit which demanded the website to reveal its review filter’s criteria. The case, however, as well as the number of other lawsuits it faced since then, resulted in favor of the company and the reasons for promoting certain comments still remain undisclosed.
According to Yelp, the platform uses an algorithm that analyzes a range of factors, such as user reliability and general activity on the website. So if a user posts one comment and doesn’t have any other engagement with the platform it is unlikely that the post will be recommended. Besides, if a Yelper leaves only five-star reviews, there is a great chance that his or her posts will be marked as not recommended. Overall, the system recommends nearly three quarters of all reviews left on the website.
Revain is the globe’s first platform offering complete transparency of online reviews. Built with the use of blockchain and IBM Watson AI technology, the platform makes it impossible to change or delete reviews written by businesses and clients. According to Revain, the company “has the chance to become a groundbreaking project on the review website market.”
Unlike other feedback platforms, its review filtration mechanism doesn’t involve the participation of third parties. The verification process includes machine moderation executed by AI and manual moderation done by the company. Each review goes through automatic moderation system combining machine learning and neural networks and is already used by such companies as Instagram and VK.
By using the Tone Analyzer tool and the Natural Language Understanding service, Revain can determine the emotional component of the review and derive the essence of the post. To motivate buyers leave more comments, the company has developed a reward system allowing users to earn RVN tokens when sharing their feedback. The token can be used as an inner currency for operations realized on the platform.
In September, the startup successfully conducted a crowdsale, raising 2018 BTC. Most of the funds raised in the crowdsale will be used for marketing, R&D, and team development. As the company earlier revealed, it is planning to expand to new markets, including ICO, gaming, e-commerce, booking and FMCG.
The platform’s R token has already been added to several cryptocurrency exchanges, such as BitFlip, EtherDelta, Mercatox, BTC-Alpha, C-CEX, and Cryptopia. Besides, the token is now listed on CoinMarketCap, the world’s leading website offering latest data on digital currency markets.
Taking into account the above-mentioned, Revain has a potential to transform the current online reviews industry, becoming the first platform ensuring total transparency and authenticity of online recommendations.