Several weeks ago, I was contacted by a Keepsy co-founder inquiring to send me a mystery package. As one who loves surprises, I accepted the offer with curiosity — hoping the company would provide a cool tool for someone who works in tech. All he wanted was my permission to see my Instagram photos. “Sure, why not,” I thought. “My Instagram account is public anyway.”
Some few days later, a tiny package arrived. Behold, my personalized Instagram hardback photo book — complete with pictures uploaded just a few days before the item arrived. This wasn’t all Keepsy had to say. This book order could be placed entirely via an iPhone app.
In case you were unaware of Keepsy like I was, the website is an online photo printing service much like Shutterfly and Snapfish. Ordering prints via an iPhone app isn’t particularly ground-breaking; Kicksend and Walgreens previously partnered up back in July so you can order digital prints straight from your phone. But a whole photo book based on Instagram photos? This makes a convenient tool for those looking to create presents on-to-go with little hassle.
The Keepsy app is currently only available for free on iOS but will allow you to customize your photobook the same way you would on a desktop. “We wanted to make ordering a photo book so simple that you could do it while waiting in a supermarket check-out line,” Keepsy co-founder Blake Williams says. The particular photobook I received is Keepsy’s “Pocket Book” edition, which is a smaller-sized album that’s cute to bring on travels or use as a decor on your desk at work. It also comes personalized with my Instagram handle on the cover, but you can edit the title to be anything you want. Additionally, you can arrange the cover photo to feature just one of your favorite Instagram picture or 30 photos on a grid template.
Starting at $15, the Pocket Books allots 20 pages before adding each page at 30 cents each. You can fit up to four photos a page to save money and condense your book, or spread them out for larger pictures. In my personal opinion, smaller pictures aren’t actually a bad choice. When one photo takes up a whole page, the pixel quality diminishes. It might be a better and thriftier idea to fit several photos on one page for cleaner, crisper looking pictures.
Like most Instagram printing services, darker, more colorful photos tend to come out better in print. Take for example this photo at a recent show. The purples are more vivid and lively compared to the whites and grey of the photo of us tailgating at an event. This isn’t to say the photo quality is in anyway bad, in fact, it’s pretty reasonable for such a low starting price. While I look the glossy finish is pretty, a matte option could be a nice addition for those who might not like finger print marks all over their pictures. Hopefully Keepsy may add that add-on in the future.
With Instagram becoming more popular than ever as a way to personalize a gift, a mini Pocket Book that can be ordered straight from your iPhone is not a bad choice for those looking for a simple yet creative gift. The addition of the iPhone app, which comes equipped with photo sharing capabilities and its own array of photo filters, might also make a nice touch for those looking to experiment more with their iPhoneography. If Pocket Books are too small for your personal taste, Keepsy also gives you to option to print a larger Photo Album and Calendars with your custom arrangements. Albums begin at $30 for 30 pages, and Calendars at $20 for a 12-month option.