I’ve been waiting for Stamped ever since it was announced back in September. It’s a social network for rating things you love, whether it’s places, books, music, movies, apps, and more. It ditches the 5-star rating system that Yelp uses in favor of just one rating option: your stamp of approval. You either stamp things to share your fondness of them, or don’t stamp them and ignore their existence. It’s simple, but very effective.
This may sound familiar because Kevin Rose’s recently released Oink app aims to do the same thing: simplify social recommendations. The problem with Oink is there’s no structure. You can rate anything in the world and it’s all organized by hashtags. Within a few minutes of me using the app, I was already being flooded with people giving a thumbs up to crap like their own basement. You can also see public ratings, which probably matters very little to you since friends are more likely than random strangers to share your interests.
Stamped has structure, which I believe will drive its success. Though you can technically rate anything you want with Oink, Stamped tucks that feature away under the focus of restaurants, movies, shows, and books, among other things that actually make sense to rate. Plus, each user only gets 100 stamps at the start, but you can earn more if your recommendations are useful. That is judged by followers liking or stamping things you’ve stamped. It sounds ridiculous, but it’s clearly meant to maintain control over the quality of the app.
One aspect of the app that definitely gets my stamp of approval is design. It couldn’t be simpler to navigate around Stamped and view recommendations from people you follow. I customized the color of my stamp, too, which feels like a personal signature with each of my stamps. It’s not sluggish by any means either.
If you are looking for an easy way to share the things you love and browse through what others love, Stamped is for you. If you’ve been using Oink, definitely give Stamped a try. Also, if you’d like to follow along with my stamps, my username is george. Stamped is free and available for iPhone and iPod touch.