In an attempt to strengthen customer trust, Amazon is making some changes to its Community Guidelines.
"Customer reviews are one of the most valuable tools we offer customers for making informed purchase decisions, and we work hard to make sure they are doing their job," said Chee Chew, Amazon customer experience vice president, in the blog post announcement.
Amazon previously allowed incentivized reviews contingent on a disclosure of the customer's relationship with the brand (direct monetary compensation has always been banned on the site.) Now, such reviews are being centralized in Amazon Vine--a program launched in 2007 for companies to get reviews for new and upcoming products--where Amazon is the party choosing the reviewers. Chew also alluded to new features to make the Vine program more useful, saying details would be forthcoming.
The new guideline changes also extend the ban to reviews for family, close friends, or employer products or services.