Amen Aims to be The Best with Explorer Release

By David Knight |

Amen has taken another step towards becoming THE destination for discovering ‘The Best’ with the publication of the data it has gathered so far in an ‘Explorer Release.’ With users now having made one million ‘Amens,’ the service – which allows you to nominate the best and worst of everything – is using their collective opinions to help you navigate your way through cities and find cool stuff to do.

And the startup’s CEO Felix Petersen told Silicon Allee that the release is just another step on the road to achieving the team’s original vision – and promised something “mind-blowing” in the next few months.

The Explorer Release was made available on the App Store on Thursday morning and promises a “more topical browsing experience.” The main features include Explore Nearby for insider tips to find the best places around you, Explore Cities (beta) and Explore Categories. With the cities function, you can check out what’s being said about places in New York, Tokyo, Berlin and San Francisco in real time. With categories, you can browse through music, art, travel, food and more to discover category-specific opinions and weigh in.

Felix said that reaching a million Amens marked a milestone and showed the continuing engagement and activity of users, and that releasing the data for their own benefit was the plan from the beginning: “I think with the Explorer Release people will see the power of the structured approach. It reduces mental complexity of choice and is a radically different experience from overbearing recommendation sites. When you go to Lisbon you don’t want reviews for ALL the restaurants, you want the Top 5 and the best of the best. You want less not more. The same goes for movies or books. The Explorer Release delivers just that.”

Discovering the Best

But he was at pains to emphasize that Amen is not trying to compete in the ‘cool places discovery’ space in the same way as, for example, Unlike. He added: “Amen (is) increasingly becom(ing) a destination for discovering ‘The Best.’ This release is a first step into that direction but we will release something in two months that will blow people’s mind. At the end Amen is about opinions.”

The app is still just as good for discovering new movies, books or even ‘yo mama’ jokes, Felix insisted, but now has much more added value. “It’s funny how we’ve been portrayed as adjusting our direction recently. I think we are doing exactly what we laid out from the beginning.”

In order to follow down that path, the team will continue to push traction and engagement. The Web service will return with a discovery-centric angle. And monetization – always a key issue, and that very much holds true for Amen – is also on the agenda, Felix revealed: “Once people go to Amen to discover everything from ‘The Best Romantic Comedy at the Moment’ to ‘The Best Sushi in Mitte,’ we will give businesses and brands a way of getting into those rankings with paid placement.”