7. June 2012–
A new explore feature on the Amen app has caused an update to the addictive opinion-sharing service get rejected by the Apple iTunes Store. The new “Explore” option on Amen unwittingly allowed users being allowed to upload shots of “mild nudity” – which seems to mostly involve some risqué wet T-shirt shots.
Not content with a slew of updates for Amen 1.5 earlier in the year, including the ability to add multimedia and deeper Facebook integration, plus a notorious viral poster campaign on the streets of Berlin, the Amen team talked to us last night at the Facebook Berlin event about the latest iteration of the app, Amen 1.5.2 which has landed them in some hot water with the notoriously puritanical iTunes App Store.
Amen Explore feature offers up even more – perhaps a little too much?
Caitlin Winner, CPO at Amen explained: “The new version of the app includes an Explore feature that lets the user search Amens in their area using GPS. You can look up what people think are the best restaurants, drinks, sports activities, etc in your vicinity. You can browse by area and then filter by activity type.
“But this function also means that instead of simply seeing the opinions of users that you subscribe to, it also opens you up to others’ posts. So we started to see some “recommendations” that involved stating stuff like: ‘Wet T-shirt contests are the best sporting events ever.'”
CTO Florian Weber added: “To be honest, this is pretty normal when apps start to incorporate user recommendation features. We just need to work with the filtration a little and resubmit to the App Store”. It’s thought that the new version of the Amen app with the new Explore feature will be available for in two days to a week.
From digital Post-it to powerful peer recommendation engine
The addition of this new functionality means that Amen has transformed almost beyond all recognition from a simple digital Post-It of preference into a powerful peer recommendation iOS app. The carefully timed addition of media-rich features and the new recommendation facilities, once perfected, mean that Amen has evolved from cult Berlin brand into a meaningful player in the new opinion aggregation sphere. Investor Ashton Kutcher will be pleased… and if he ever needs to find a wet T-shirt competition…