In a rather awesome move for developers, Google allowed Android developers to directly reply to reviews on Google Play back in June. Unfortunately, the ability to do so was restricted to those who had achieved "Top Developer" status on the platform. Now Google is rolling out the ability to everybody.
Android Community reports that developer Dave Kover recently discovered that he could reply to reviews on his apps in the Google Play store. He's not billed as a "top developer" so it means that Google is finally beginning to roll out the review reply ability to more and more developers. At the moment, it doesn't look like it's live for everybody, but we've reached out to Google to find out when it might be.
It's kind of annoying that it took Google this long to roll out the ability to reply to reviews to everybody. It's only a good thing when users and developers can directly communicate with each other instead of having to resort to email or other methods of communication that may get lost in the shuffle. This way, developers can offer support to users directly from the Play store and other users who may be having the same problem will be able to troubleshoot without having to wait for a reply.
Smaller developers will probably also appreciate the ability to defend themselves from rotten reviews. Some men just want to watch the world burn, and that's doubly true in mobile app reviews. Granted, some users may be less likely to post scathing reviews now that Google has tied Google Play into Google+. Trolls tend to flee from the loss of anonymity.