Xobni co-founder Matt Brezina is launching a fun and clever product today to let iPhone users send real, physical postcards directly from your iPhone (or from the Web). Postagram is the app. Sincerely is the new company he started to create it.
Postagram uses the Instagram API. It requires that users have an Instagram login and the app installed on their phone. But from there, it looks like a quick procedure to select a photo from your Instagram library, put a message of up to 140 characters on it, address it (unfortunately the app can't access your phone's address book directly), and have it sent out as a postcard through the mail.
The postcard itself has a clever twist: The Instagram-styled square photo can be popped out of the postcard that carries it. Unlike traditional postcards, the image doesn't take up the whole front surface. (The SMS-length message and the photo are on the front; I haven't seen one yet so I don't know what's on the back, aside from the address.)
It costs 99 cents to send a Postagram, payable via credit card since Apple won't let companies sell physical goods through its App Store payment system. That's a completely reasonable fee for taking the cheapest of social gestures--sending a photo to someone electronically--and making it more real and valuable.
Brezina's business is based on the correct understanding that people will pay for physical souvenirs even when the memories they represent can be sent for free. It's hardly a new realization, but Postagram brings that important social capability to the large group of iPhone users who just never bother to print or send photos anymore.
Brezina's new company, Sincerely, will soon have other photo-delivery products, he told me. Also coming up: An Instagram-free way to send postcards from your phone.
On launch day, April 12, new users can send one Postagram for free.