Google Ventures-Backed Stamped Chooses Quality Over Quantity – Finally

Yelp is gearing up to go public, and it might do so to the tune of $2 billion dollars. The service, which arguably led the way in…

Yelp is gearing up to go public, and it might do so to the tune of $2 billion dollars. The service, which arguably led the way in online consumer review platforms, is a standard source for adventure planning, with a sizable database and 63 million monthly users. But now 7-years-old, it feels dated and frustrating, overflowing with gargled information ripe with personal vendettas against local venues.

On the other end of the consumer review spectrum is a relieving and enlarging off-shoot - platforms that source reviews from users’ social networks. Trippy, for example, forms travel recommendations by scouring a user’s Facebook network for friends who have traveled to the same locales; Cliq, on the other hand, functions almost exactly like Yelp in that it’s a review search engine, but it gathers information from Tweets, Facebook pages, and so on. Plenty has been said at Fueled about the benefit of such social sourcing, and the tech community as a whole seems to a agree.

Leave it, then, to ex-Googlers and tech heavyweights to brandish Stamped, a Google Ventures-backed platform that further simplifies the process: visit a restaurant, enjoy your meal, open your phone, and Stamp the venue. Users can Stamp restaurants, movies, music, and products, among other things, through the iOS app, and when they do so, they’re telling friends and followers - connected through TwitterFacebook, and your contact list - that the place or product is worth a shot. The stamps, in turn, are calls-to-action, and those actions are always within reach. Take advantage of built-in AmazonOpenTableiTunes, orFandango functionality; Stamp the experience yourself; or add it to a to-do list.

Of course, there are friends and there are tastemakers; fortunately, Stamped engages both. Mario Batali, for example, is an advisor, while Rolling Stone criticPeter Travers and New York Magazine have already signed on board as quick sources of recommendations. For those of us who live in New York, this particular strategy reflects keen awareness on the part of the founders regarding our sources of information. New York Magazine is a highly-regarded reference for dining and nightlife recommendations, but its mobile accessibility is limited. By placing the publication front-and-center on a platform geared toward simplicity, Stamped is both embracing and shaping our taste.

In quieting the banter engulfing the competition, Stamped has launched silently but with high regard. On the other hand, its simplicity has sparked typical dialogue concerning the overvaluation of a product that seems, in many ways, a replication of a Facebook Like, re-Tweet, or +1. But Stamped boasts two strengths. For starters, you can recommend almost anything, well beyond sites and services with social network links. More importantly, though, it flattens and filters calls-to-action, not useless chatter, providing information that actually demands user engagement. The result is a luring recommendation system that latches tightly onto a trajectory guiding us back toward simple living.

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