In what could blossom into an ecommerce opportunity, Facebook is testing a new “Mail A Postcard” feature powered by Sincerely that lets you choose one of your photos and have Facebook send it to a friend as a postcard — in real life. You can add a message that will appear on the back, and also mail friends prints of their own photos. The sender is charged a small fee, and Facebook is trying out a few different price points.
Though built as a spur-of-the-moment Hackathon project, if Facebook rolls out Mail A Postcard it could give users a new reason to upload and interact with photos, plus earn the social network a little money too.
Mail A Postcard is a partnership with Sincerely, makers of Postagram, which lets you send your Instagrams through snailmail. That service is only $0.99 per card, so Facebook might be aiming at a similar price or a little higher to net it a margin. The deal could bring tons of visibility to Sincerely, which also offers photo apps Popbooth and Dotti.
The few users who are in the feature’s tester group will see a “Mail Postcard” button at the bottom of photos they’re viewing. Clicking it opens a screen to enter the friend’s address and message. Users can ask their friend or check their profile for their mailing address if they don’t know it. For now you can only mail your own private photos to friends, or mail friends their own photos that you can see. It doesn’t work for public photos or photos from Pages.
Mail Postcard could also fit in well with Karma, a startup recently Facebook bought that we suspect will soon emerge as a way to send gift cards and physical gifts to friends. Imagine instead of birthday wall post you could mail friends gorgeous postcard with a heartfelt message plus a gift card or little toy. That sounds more “connected” than a one-second “Happy Birthday!” post, but it wouldn’t take much longer to send.
Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with over 1 billion monthly active users. Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in February 2004, initially as an exclusive network for Harvard students. It was a huge hit: in 2 weeks, half of the schools in the Boston area began demanding a Facebook network. Zuckerberg immediately recruited his friends Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes, and Eduardo Saverin to help build Facebook, and within four months, Facebook added 30 more college networks. The original...