Review: Postagram—Send a Postcard Direct from your Smartphone

7


Update: October 2013. The company behind Postagram has disappointingly seen fit to change its privacy policy to the detriment of its customers, allowing the disclosure of their personal information to direct marketing companies.

We firmly believe that this is an unacceptable business practice, and as a result can no longer recommend the use of this application.

It’s easy to forget in our hyper-connected world that some people we care about just aren’t online. They don’t see our Facebook statuses, Twitter messages or read our blogs. A physical postcard can mean the world to then.

Even for our friends and family that are connected, a postcard always feels a bit more personal than an email or posting a photo on Facebook.

Unfortunately it can often be a pain to figure out a country’s postal system and, even if you do, some of them are notoriously unreliable.

While I was preparing this post, my mum let me know that a postcard I sent from Puglia, Italy (yes, that Italy—the one in Europe) in 2009 only just arrived.

I kid you not: two thousand and fricking nine!

The postcards themselves are great but the system for sending them can be clearly unreliable. If only there was a modern, technological solution…

 

The Modern, Technological Solution

Postagram is an iOS, Android and web app for converting your photos into physical postcards that you can send almost anywhere in the world.

They promise to get your postcard to your recipient within 2–5 business days and, they live up to that promise—my mum’s arrived five days after we sent it, which is a vast improvement on four years.

A picture of Simon's mum holding the Postagram she received

Simon’s mum with her Postagram that didn’t take 4 years.

Simply select or take a photo, which is then cropped to a square à la Instagram, and add a short message. The message is limited to 180 characters, all in one paragraph, and has no formatting so you have to be brief.

You can select multiple recipients (although surely that reduces the personal nature of it a little) and the app will scan your address book for people who have their postal addresses filled in, or you can add a new address manually.

Enter your credit card details, hit send and you’re done. Didn’t even have to leave your sun lounger and Piña Colada.

The service will keep you informed on your postcard’s progress and if it doesn’t arrive or it’s damaged, just let them know and they’ll send out another one free of charge.

A screenshot of the Postagram customize screen.

Editing your Postagram. Who doesn’t like sunsets?

 

The Summary

Pros:
- Made my mum’s day
- Easy to use, step by step process
- Having your own image is a lot more personal than those crappy tourist postcard photos!
- Send direct from your phone
- Works a lot better than the Italian postal system

Cons:
- When sending postcards, it sometimes gets stuck on processing so you’re not sure the postcard has gone
- No way to save in-progress cards for later
- Compared to a traditional postcard the photo and text area are smaller
- Would prefer if they used In-App Purchases instead of having to hand out my credit card details to yet another service

Cost: The app is free to download, and it costs 99¢ per postcard to US addresses, or $1.99 to other countries.

Bonus: Right now, they’re offering 5 free postcards with each download of their app in the iTunes store.

 

Postcards Made Easy

OK, so sending a real postcard might still work out a little cheaper (perhaps not, depending on where you are) but, really, when was the last time you actually went to the effort to send one?

The app is still a little buggy, but the service itself is reliable and being able to pull out my phone and quickly and easily send out postcards from anywhere with an internet connection is amazing. Knowing that you could make someone’s day with that simple act makes it easy to recommend.

Postagram is available on the App Store and the Google Play stores, and online. Check out Postagramapp.com

 

 

7 Responses

  1. Josh @ I Ran So Far Away

    The biggest negative for me is that you don’t get the postmark from the country you’re traveling in. That’s a cool part of sending postcards from overseas. That said, I’ll probably still use this method on my next trip.

    Reply
    • Simon Fairbairn

      Aye, good point. Never thought of that.

      Postagram could add a postmark to the postcard based on the IP address of the country you sent it from. That’d be cool.

      Reply
  2. Dyanne@TravelnLass

    Now this is very kewl. Especially given that I’m an expat living in Vietnam. They say they deliver “just about anywhere” (and then qualify it by noting “U.S. Canada Europe” but… I presume that’s only the RECIPIENT limitation – not me, the sender here in Asia.

    Only thing might be nice is if the message could at least be in a script font – to make it look like it’s handwritten.

    Would also be nice if you could pay with PayPal.

    Kewl – thanks for the tip! d/l the app now…

    Reply
    • Simon

      Sorry, should have been clearer: yep, it’s where the recipient is located that’s important, not where you are.

      Reply
  3. Naomi

    Australia Post have their own postcard app for iPhones (unsure whether android as well). Free download but $1.99AUD for Australian addresses and more for elsewhere, so a bit more expensive. However, on the plus side, the photo is the entire postcard size ie not cropped to a square, and you can use Paypal. More expensive but better looking than postagram.
    Suspect other postal services will soon have their own postcard apps as well.

    Reply
    • Naomi

      Oh, and the message is in a typefont that looks like it’s handwritten, so definitely cooler than postagram. Also does multiple recipients, which you can retrieve from your smartphone contacts address book. Really like this app, waiting to hear what my mum reports when she gets the postcard!

      Reply

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