Prototype no more, Instaprint is hitting the event circuit and makes an appearance at CES

instaprint at cesTo say Instaprint jumped on the Instagram accessory trend is putting it lightly. Back in the spring of 2011, shortly before SXSW and weeks before Instagram released its API, the team came up with the idea to create a device that integrates with the service to print your images.

“We knew that Instagram was putting out the API and we had just come up with the idea… so it was a bit of a sprint to get the prototype going and we really had no specific plans other than to just take it to SXSW and try to get some people interested,” Michael Lipton of Breakfast, the collective idea lab behind Instaprint, told us. “We just knocked on doors and took it to parties [at SXSW] to see what people thought.”

People thought good things, apparently, because two years later Instaprint is here at CES giving life to all of the many Instagrams the show’s attendees are busy taking. The team comes and installs the rental units that leverage the Instagram API to collect your Instagrams labeled with your specifically-made hashtag (for CES, send a tweet or Instagram to @ThePCDCo with the hashtag #2013cespcd). Then the sleek machines deliver handheld prints of all your favorite filtered moments.

instaprint table cesInstaprint is quickly becoming a darling in the event space, and the team is even taking it to the Super Bowl in New Orleans next month. “We’re really all over the place,” Lipton says. “In the next two months we probably have 20 events.”

“Having not really done stuff in the event space before, it’s a big learning experience. Things like Fashion Week, I realized that, wow… that’s a massive thing and we booked up to capacity during that week.”

The team is growing to new regions, and now has a representative on the West Coast (Breakfast is based in New York) to help handle demand. Despite the growth and interest, Lipton says Instaprint units are still not for sale. “It totally changes the business model,” he tells me. “We need to take the price down significantly and we’re not really comfortable cutting corners.” He says that the team doesn’t have the support to keep customers’ products in working order, and if they were to sell units they’d want to have the infrastructure totally read, keep the price high, and only sell a handful of Instaprints.

But for the time being they remain rentals. A half day costs $5,000, and a full day $7,500 (for longer events, price is up for discussion) — steep, right? Keep in mind the team sends someone to help you with the unit and make sure everything works like it should. Right now, there are 15-20 in Instaprint’s arsenal, so renting one is based on availability.

If you’ve followered Instaprint’s story, you might remember its Kickstarter campaign — which was ultimately unsuccessful. “The strategy behind the Kickstarter campaign was to see if we should be selling them. When we would bring them to renters, they would tell us they wanted it in their homes,” says Lipton. The buy-in behind the crowdfunding campaign as high: As in a $400 contibution to get a unit high. The goal, at $500,000, was even higher. “We were realistic about the odds of getting successfully funded.” In the end, Instaprint raised $250k and went home with the assertion that the rental market is currently the sweet spot for its product.

While Instagram is a niche market, to be sure, with the platform’s seemingly unstoppable growth, it’s a powerful one to leverage — and Instaprint is here two year’s later realizing that idea.


For the first time ever, PlayStation will be a no-show at E3

For the first time in the event's history, E3 2019 will not feature Sony or PlayStation. The massive event almost always features a lengthy press conference from Sony, often after all other major companies give theirs.

Google rolls out Night Sight to Pixel 3 and 3 XL camera app

Google's latest flagships, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, are now official and we have all the details from the October 9 event in New York City and Paris. Here's everything we know about the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.

Land Rover shows its artsy side by previewing the 2020 Range Rover Evoque

Land Rover made life-sized wire sculptures to preview the 2020 Range Rover Evoque. The all-new SUV will make its debut during a private event held in London on November 22, and deliveries will begin in 2019.

What games were nominated for the The Game Awards 2018? Find out here

The Game Awards returns to Los Angeles for its fifth show this December. Here is everything we know about the event, including its location, where you can watch it, and games that were nominated.
Social Media

Facebook opens pop-up stores at Macy’s, but they’re not selling the Portal

Facebook has opened pop-up stores at multiple Macy's, though they're not selling Facebook's new Portal device. Instead, they're showcasing small businesses and brands that are already popular on Facebook and Instagram.
Social Media

Facebook Messenger will soon let you delete sent messages

A feature coming to Facebook Messenger will let you delete a message for up to 10 minutes after you send it. The company promised the feature months ago and this week said it really is on its way ... "soon."
Social Media

Pinterest brings followed content front and center with full-width Pin format

Want to see Pinterest recommendations, or just Pins from followed users? Now Pinners can choose with a Pinterest Following feed update. The secondary feed eliminates recommendation and is (almost) chronological.
Smart Home

Facebook's Alexa-enabled video-calling devices begin shipping

Facebook's Portal devices are video smart speakers with Alexa voice assistants built in that allow you to make calls. The 15-inch Portal+ model features a pivoting camera that follows you around the room as you speak.
Social Media

Vine fans, your favorite video-looping app is coming back as Byte

Vine fans were left disappointed in 2017 when its owner, Twitter, pulled the plug on the video-looping app. But now one of its co-founders has promised that a new version of the app, called Byte, is coming soon.

Social media use increases depression and anxiety, experiment shows

A study has shown for the first time a causal link between social media use and lower rates of well-being. Students who limited their social media usage to 30 minutes a day showed significant decreases in anxiety and fear of missing out.
Social Media

Twitter boss hints that an edit button for tweets may finally be on its way

Twitter has been talking for years about launching an edit button for tweets, but it still hasn't landed. This week, company boss Jack Dorsey addressed the matter again, describing a quick-edit button as "achievable."
Social Media

‘Superwoman’ YouTuber Lilly Singh taking a break for her mental health

Claiming to be "mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted," popular YouTuber Lilly Singh has told her millions of fans she's taking a break from making videos in order to recuperate.
Social Media

Facebook is rolling out a Messenger ‘unsend’ feature, and here’s how to use it

Facebook is starting to roll out a "remove message" feature for its Messenger app. It lets you delete a message in a thread within 10 minutes of sending it, and replaces it with a note telling recipients that it's been removed.
Social Media

Going incognito: Here's how to appear offline on Facebook

How do you make sure your friends and family can't see if you're on Facebook, even if you are? Here, we'll show you how to turn off your active status on three different platforms, so you can browse Facebook without anyone knowing.