From Facebook, with love: Test feature sends photos as postcards

10 Aug 2012

While we’ve all embraced the advantages of digital communication, sometimes reaching out to friends using traditional methods provides an extra special touch, and a new feature being tested by Facebook offers users the chance to send friends a message that they can actually hold in their hands.

A product of a Facebook Hackathon, the new ‘Mail postcard’ feature is currently only available to a few users as Facebook sees how this service works out. These test users will see the option to mail a postcard when viewing a photo on Facebook. Selecting this brings them to a screen where they enter their message and their friend’s address and, presto! A postcard of the selected photo and the user’s message will be with their friend … in a day or two.

Facebook Mail Postcard

Though it’s not instantaneous, a postcard, as a physical token, is a special treat to receive in an age of digital communication. Sincerely, which has partnered with Facebook on this service, knows all about this.

Sincerely has created a number of apps that use images from users’ phones and changes them into physical prints, such as cards, postcards, or simply prints.

With the Facebook service, test users can only send postcards from their own images or a friend’s image if the postcard is being sent to that friend. TechCrunch reports that different price points are being trialled, though with Sincerely’s Postagram app sending Instagram postcards for US$0.99 a pop, I’d imagine the price range wouldn’t stray far from that.

Posting on the TechCrunch page, Sincerely said: “We are so excited about this new programme and can’t wait for this first batch of cards to start reaching their destinations. People are going to love them!”

With more than 200m photos uploaded per day and with Facebook being a hub of communication for friends who could be separated by great distances, this new feature could not only be a huge attraction for users, but could also be a great revenue spinner for the social network.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.