Stamped lets you create, share and browse recommendations called Stamps. Whether you’re looking for a good book, app, song or restaurant, this iPhone app helps you find the best recommendations from people you trust. Browse Stamps from friends, celebrities and notable publications, then act upon your find with links to purchase, read, listen to and even make reservations at the Stamps.
The Recapp Rating
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Recommendation apps: Lately, we’ve seen lots of them pop up in the appiverse, letting you save and share your favorite things within a social-app community.
We’ve been recommending apps such as LoveThis, Via.Me and Womzit (just to name a few). But the newly updated Stamped claims to be the best recommendation app, and with investors including Justin Bieber, Ellen DeGeneres and Ryan Seacrest, it’s easy to see why people are flocking to this sleek-looking social app.
Initially launched in November by ex-Google employees, Stamped’s new round of funding (over $3 million) comes from large companies including Bain Capital Ventures and Google Ventures. But it’s The Biebs and the rest of the celebrity crew who are gaining most of the attention. These celebrities aren’t just app investors—they’re also “influencers” within the Stamped community. In addition to your friends, you can follow the celebs along with notable organizations (such as New York and Time magazines) for credible recommendations.
When you launch the app, you can view Stamps (aka recommendations) in the form of a news feed, or you can browse by Stamp type. Types of Stamps include Eat/Drink, Read, Listen, Watch and Download (the latter is our favorite category—it features app recommendations!).
You can also Stamp things yourself, of course, but you are limited to the number of Stamps you can create. At first, it’s 100. If your friends like your recos, you earn more Stamps. This is a unique trait for recommendation apps, one that Stamped co-founder and CEO Robby Stein blogs is for quality-control purposes, “to incentivize quality over quantity.”
Browsing the quality Stamps is the app’s more enjoyable function. Say you’re browsing the news feed and come across a song recommendation from Bieber. Tap on the song, and you’re taken to a page where you can listen to a preview, click on a link to download it from iTunes and read a comment from The Biebs himself (and the many fans who also comment on the Stamp). At the bottom of every Stamp is a navigation bar that lets you like the Stamp, comment on it or share it via Twitter or email.
The cool thing about Stamped (and one that boosts its legitimacy) is its affiliate relationships with third parties, including Spotify, Rdio, Netflix, Fandango and OpenTable. So, when you go to preview Bieber’s Stamped song, you can link to your Spotify account. Or when you go to check out that restaurant Mario Batali Stamped (who happens to be an advisor to the app), you can connect to OpenTable to make a reservation.
Overall, Stamped has a gorgeous interface, an intuitive navigation and good organization. We’re looking forward to an Android version (some sources say we’ll see one next year), and the only other thing we wanted to see was minor: When browsing your Facebook friends or contacts to invite to Stamped, you have to scroll through a long list of names. There’s no handy search bar to simply type in a pal’s name.
Other than that nitty grittiness, we like Stamped. What does this celeb-endorsed app mean for the rest of the recommendation apps that are sprouting up like dandelions in the marketplaces? Time will tell.
Reviewed: Jul 26, 2012 | Mary Georger