27. March 2012–
Amen is about to get a suite of game-changing new updates to launch it beyond the hipsterverse and into the public consciousness, as well as a fresh injection of cash to help it along its way.
Founder Felix Petersen told VentureVillage the details of Amen Version 1.5, which will go live on the iTunes Store on Wednesday 28 March. The new features centre round elevating Amens from text-only digital Post-It Notes into fully-fledged media-rich missives with slicker social media smarts.
Images, iTunes and Facebook on board
Perhaps the biggest visible change is the ability to add images to your Amens, so that “Stupidest cat ever” can now be backed up by pictorial proof embedded in your post.
Continuing the media-rich theme, thumbnails of music, maps as well as images will now appear in the the feed next to your opinion. iTunes integration means that when you drunkenly decide that “I Will Survive” is the Greatest Song Ever, you’ll be able to post a 30-second preview to back your claim up. And your friends even have the option to buy the song if they’ve drank enough too.
In addition, there’ll be a tight integration via Facebook, as Amen gets included into Timeline and Open Graph – so any time you Amen a mate, the news will appear on their timeline (“Jörg has the most ridiculous hipster glasses ever”) as well as the option for any Amens to appear in your own feed too. Facebook friends will also be auto-suggested as you type mates’ names.
Boost into the mainstream
There’s no doubt that the additions will launch Amen into the public consciousness, as well as add functionality that justifies its existence in a way that was never truly apparent before – we liked the app, but we never really got the point before – now it acts as a great personal pollster that will sit – like most other apps these days – neatly inside the Facebook universe.
A new comment thread also means that users can now engage in open dialogue rather than just agree or refute your Amen, although for us, this step detracts from its simplicity and takes it too close to Facebook functionality for comfort.
Sunstone Capital joins seed round
Amen has also acquired some new funding in the form of a $1m investment from Sunstone Capital, making the seed round $2.9m, plus Dave Morin through his vehicle Slow Ventures.
They join an impressive roll-call of investors including SoundCloud founders Alexander Ljung and Eric Wahlforss, as well as Ashton Kutcher (though A Grade) and Index Ventures - obviously impressed by Amen’s key staff – Petersen’s laser-guided hype detector, the CPO smarts of ex-Nokia exec Caitlin Winner and one of Twitter’s first devs, Florian Weber.
Petersen says that the Amen team is “on the right track to building something sustainable beyond the hype”. They might just be right...