Sunday, 22 April 2012

Instagram and printing your photos

Given the recent success of the iOS and Android photo application, Instagram, there's been an explosion of interest in people using the service as the $1 billion Facebook acquisition received widespread media coverage. It seems like everyone is a fauxtographer now.

In the early days of Instagram (October 2010) the only way you could view your snaps was via the application itself but it quickly granted access to users' images via the API. Several different companies have been setup to take advantage of this access, offering a range of photo printing services or social networking services. I recall signing up to Followgram in order to check out my photos from a web browser. It's quite a basic 'display' service.

There are other services available. Statigram offers users quite a different proposition, including detailed statistics about your images (eg such as the most commented upon or liked photos) and it even offers links to a good range of printing services. You can have your photos emblazoned across iPhone cases, fridge magnets, posters, pillows and more...

Not everyone will want to print their Instagram images but they can be fun and playful, and even quite artful, so much so that there is a growing market for people looking to express their creativity beyond the digital context. However, the main problem I've encountered when looking for services to print Instagram photos are mainly to do with geography. All the services I've found (like Bumblejax or Hatchcraft) are US-based (eg Postalpix and Printstagram) meaning that costs to export to the UK make them unattractive.

The bamboo shadow box frames that Hatchcraft make would look great on my walls but at $22 per 4" frame and $34 per 7" frame with import duty and postage on top make these a somewhat expensive way of showing of your keepsakes.

So, if you know of any bespoke services dealing with printing or framing Instagram content based in Europe or the UK then I'm interested in hearing your views (leave a comment please!). There's an open question on Quora if you'd rather leave your responses there.