Stamped Updated For SXSW: Better Maps, Search & Austin-Area Recommendations

Stamped, the NYC-based startup founded by ex-Googlers, is rolling out an update to its social recommendations app today with a focus on improving local discovery. Specifically, Stamped has overhauled the app’s map interface with the addition of a search box and slider for switching between views.

The company has also teamed up with The Austin Chronicle for SXSW, whose branded account will “stamp” their favorite restaurants around Austin.

The mobile app, for those unfamiliar, launched back in November, to help simplify the ratings and reviews process by making it super simple to recommend anything – a restaurant, bar, nightclub, etc., or even items like books, albums, movies or apps. Instead of using 5-star ratings, you just “stamp” something if you like it. Adding notes and photos are completely optional.

With today’s update (ver. 1.1), the app’s map feature has been refreshed, and now includes a slider at the bottom. Here, you can slide between views that show just your stamps, stamps from you and your friends, stamps from friends of friends, and the most popular stamps for the area.

Also added is a much-needed search box that lets you filter the types of stamps you’re seeing. So, for example, you could type in “pizza” to narrow down the selections.

While the map update is the big news, Stamped co-founder Robby Stein tells us that there are a few other minor enhancements being shipped today, too, including an improvement to the suggested users’ feature. Now, Stamped will be able to recommend people you should follow based on your stamps. The app will tell you why it’s making these recommendations, too.

The suggestions will indicate which friends you have in common and which tastes you share, for example.

In addition, SXSW goers will now see recommended restaurants around Austin, courtesy of The Austin Chronicle. This isn’t the only brand partnership for Stamped, we should note. The company previously established partnerships with New York Magazine as well as with notable individuals like Mario Batali, Michael Kors, Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers, and others. And they’re close to adding more partnerships with other brands and public figures, Stein says.

Although the company is too young to feel comfortable talking metrics, they are announcing they’ve reached 100,000 stamps across their worldwide audience, with the majority of ratings, surprisingly, found outside of location-based venues (restaurants, bars, etc.). A lot of the activity in the app has been on rating movies and TV shows, apparently.

The updated iPhone app should be out in the iTunes App Store today. (If not now, then very shortly after this post.) You can grab a copy of Stamped from here.