You know those hundreds of Facebook friends you think you have? I bet you don’t even know where most of them live. I mean, actually live, not where they hang out online. Of course you don’t. They’re not your real friends, duh. But let’s pretend some of them are. And to impress and delight them, you’d like to send a postcard. The real kind, not those lame, overly jpeg-ed relics of the dot com boom.
Well, as of today, Touchnote‘s newly updated Facebook app lets you do just that, without ever knowing your friends’ physical addresses. And thanks to an Olympic tie-in with electronics giant Samsung which has already seen 750,000 postcards posted, you can currently do it for free.
Here’s how the app works: Once a user has selected one of their Facebook photos to turn into a physical postcard, they get to write a message and then enter the recipient’s address. If they don’t know it, however, it’s at this point Touchnote’s ‘address-less’ postcards feature kicks in. Instead, the app automatically sends a request to your friend and gets their address for you — which, I’m assured is never revealed to the sender and resides on Touchnote’s NOT Facebook’s secure servers, for the sole purpose of popping the card in the post. In addition, users only need to enter their address once, for their approved Facebook friends to send them additional postcards.
Of course, privacy zealots might advise against handing over your address to any company upon an unsolicited request — I can kind of see their point — but this is the prospect of a shiny real post card we’re talking about. And Touchnote probably has a better privacy track record than a certain Billion dollar company.
Touchnote says that to date it has seen over 2m downloads of its Android and iOS apps. Postcards are printed and sent from the U.S., UK, Australia and Germany to destinations worldwide. It also says that due to increasing demand in Japan (which accounts for 11% of photography app users, apparently), the company’s flagship Android app is now available in Japanese, while it reckons that its Faecbook app is currently the most popular postcards app on the social network with 50,000 monthly active users.
The free promotion with Samsung runs till the end of the month.