18. May 2012–
Personalised printing service Picpack has launched, turning your Instagram photos into magnets.
Customised photo-gifts scatter on-site services with boundless options and product selections. From mounting photos on water bottles and stubby holders, to porcelain ornaments and Christmas tree decorations. Let’s face it; a personalised photo mug isn’t the trendiest of household fixtures. There’s always that one distant relative who flaunts family smiles and cheesy couple shots on every customisable crevice of their home. Creepy.
Pic-a-pack of a dozen or more…
Taking the “cringe” out of cringe-worthy, the Berlin team at Picpack offer a way to turn those crafty Instagram photos into fridge magnets through a point-blank simple and slick online platform. It’s a great way to show off your Instagram pictures in the real world. All you have to do is log on to the website using your Instagram account, select 12 photos from your feed, pay the €18 via paypal and Bob’s your uncle, it takes one to seven working days to get to wherever you are in the world at no extra shipping cost. The high-quality magnets are just under 6x6cms in dimension, has slightly rounded corners, and can hold up four A4 sheets of paper: A bite-sized piece of art and practical tool in one.
Picpack’s idea is delightful but not new. Much like Stickygram – which pulled out of beta and into official launch in March this year, the US site allows you to select nine photos from your Instagram feed for $14.99 with free international shipping. Stickygram’s site is cleverly crafted with attractive features and a well-honed blog offering now-and-then surprise discounts. While Picpack may have a bit of catching up to do to get itself out there, there isn’t an influx of other companies to contend with. It’s a two man race.
Facebook’s recent purchase of Instagram for a whopping $1 billion, has helped popularize Instagram-printing tools, such as: Sticker-printing service Artflakes, personalised iPhone 4/4S case Casetagram, and postcard-creator Postagram. With a market-catch of more than 31 million Instagram users worldwide, who wouldn’t want to cash-in?
The gift that sticks
“The idea came up a year ago,” explains German co-founder Jakob Fricke. Together with Lithuanian national Tadas Ščerbinskas and Thomas Albrecht, the co-founding trio kicked-off the side project after the idea was sparked by a fusion of; failed gift ideas, Albrecht’s day job at running a printing company and his open addiction to Instagram. Since then, the side-project’s been 100% bootstrapped with all the brains and experience needed between them, to keep it running smoothly.
Still in its early days, Picpack’s already seen growing interest abroad with shipments of photo-magnets sent to as far as New Zealand, Brazil and the U.S. It’s attracting anyone from tat-festooned hipsters to tech-informed grandparents.
“Mum can’t wait to use her normal camera photos..”
The only catch is, you’ll need to be armed with Instagram and hence – a smartphone… for now. “My Mum can’t wait to use her normal camera photos when we expand the service beyond Instagram,” says Fricke. Plans are underway to introduce digital photos and other mobile-sharing photo apps, “even for artists to upload their work and sell them on. We’d eventually like to see offline shops use the service too” adds Fricke. Until then, watch this space.