Stamped (Free) by Stamped, Inc. is an elegant way to recommend stuff you approve of to your friends.
It seems that rate-everything apps are the new trend lately. It seems to have started with Oink from Milk Inc., which we reviewed earlier this month. However, I'm becoming more of a Stamped fan than Oink, even though Stamped just came out yesterday. Why is this? Let's go over that now.
The first thing that caught my attention about Stamped is how minimal, yet elegant, the user experience and interface is. While Oink looks great too, let’s admit it, there’s a lot going on in terms of the interface. Stamped is much more simple – rather than having icons and photos everywhere, there is simply a list of items that friends have “stamped,” meaning they approve and recommend it. There isn’t the convoluted love/like/ho-hum/dislike system – if an item gets a stamp, it’s approved and recommended to others. It’s just that simple. The typography just works, and it’s easy to sort through items too. If you use Oink and try Stamped, it’s hard to say that Oink is better, as far as design goes.
To use Stamped, you’ll have to create an account. Registering is simple, and does not require an invite to get in (unlike Oink, which was invite-only when it was first released, and annoyed plenty of people). Once the account is created, the fun begins with you creating your stamp color. This stamp should symbolize you and your approval, and can be a single color or a hybrid of two colors; it’s entirely up to you. Save it when you make up your mind, and then you will have access to the rest of the app. The stamp color can always be changed at any time.
The bottom toolbar will have five buttons: Stamps, News, New Stamp, To-Do, and People.
You will probably want to have friends to follow and follow you back, so Stamped can integrate with Twitter and Facebook, and even go through your Contacts. The option to search for your friends will be in the People tab. This is where you can access your own profile, as well as see who you are following, edit your profile, and change sharing settings (Twitter and Facebook accounts).
When you have added several people, the Stamps view is much more interesting. The item names will appear in a simple, large font. The stamp that each user created will appear on the item, and you can see what category the item falls under (if specified). Tapping on an item will allow you to see what the person said about the item (what makes it worthy of a stamp), an image (if attached), and you can add a comment.
Other options will be found at the bottom of the stamped item, which include: Like, +To-Do, Stamp, and Share. Like Oink, Stamped also gives you the option to add items for later. Sharing the item gives you a link to copy and send to others. The most fun though, is the Stamp button.
The stamp button in a stamped item will allow you to put your stamp of approval on the item as well. The app will prompt you with why is the item “stampworthy,” include a picture (from the commenting view) and ask you to give credit to someone. By default, the person that last stamped it should get credit, but you can tap on it and bring up a list of people that have previously stamped it. Selecting one will give that person credit. When you are done filling out the details, select Twitter or Facebook for sharing, and then stamp it!
The best part about stamping something is that animation of your stamp going on the item. It really gives it that authentic feel, which is a nice touch.
When you want to stamp an item that is new, just tap on that “+” button. You can then search by keyword for anything, anyone, and any place. The results are brought to you by Google, and if the item you’re looking for isn’t there, you can always add it yourself. Creating a new stamp is the same as stamping others, except the credit option will be blank (you’re crediting yourself!).
The biggest catch with Stamped is the fact that you have a limited number of stamps. Creating a new stamp or stamping another item will use up one stamp. However, these stamps can be replenished in one of two ways: you will get two more stamps if someone credits you, and one more if someone likes your stamp.
This makes sure that you don’t just go stamping everything – stamp only those items that really deserve it. This seems a bit more conservative, and users should actually value what they are recommending. But if your recommendations are good, then there is a more rewarding experience and people will trust your opinions.
Whenever you get a new follower, credit, or like, you will be able to view that in the News tab. The To-Do view will have all of your saved items for trying later, so it serves as a handy reference. If you’re curious about your profile, you can go to the People tab and view it. You’ll see how many credits you’ve received, who you follow and who follows you, and your recent stamps. Additionally, if you are wondering how many stamps you have left, a count will be seen here. The profile and stamp color can be edited as well.
The end result after using this app for a complete day is that I absolutely love it. It places more value on recommended items since there is a limit, and you can’t really “spam” everything to your friends and followers. The interface is beautiful, elegant, and simple, rather than convoluted and all over the place like Oink (just a more conservative, tight design). Stamps are great and have a genuine feel to them, and having your own personalized stamp really adds to the app.
The only thing that bothers me is the fact that there is no option to not receive email notifications of anything that happens in your News view. Hopefully the developers are working on a way to make email notifications option, since I have enough crap in my Inbox to look at.
While rate-everything apps seems to be the new trend, I hope that Stamped doesn’t get overlooked. As a free download, I encourage everyone to give it a try.
It's time to put your stamp of approval on the world.
UPDATE: The co-founder, Bart Stein, has informed me that you can actually opt out of email notifications. Just go to the bottom of an email notification and click on "Change notification settings." Toggle which events you want a notification for and it's saved. Thanks to Stein for letting us know!