Facebook testing snail-mail postcard service using members’ photos

snailmail photos to friends with facebooks new postcards feature facebookRemember postcards? You know, those rectangular things, blank on one side, pretty picture on the other; required a writing implement of some sort to convey feelings about, say, a vacation. A stamp was also needed.

Well, apparently Facebook is hoping users of its site might be interested in the idea of transforming their Facebook photos into physical postcards for sending to friends.

snailmail photos to friends with facebooks new postcards feature facebook postcard 1

The social networking giant is currently testing the feature with a small group of users, which, if popular, could be rolled out in the coming months.

The service would allow a Facebook user to select one of their own photos (images from the web can’t be used) for their postcard. Just as with a conventional postcard, the other side would have a space for a message and their friend’s address, both of which would be tapped out on a computer or mobile device. The sender can also use a friend’s photo for the postcard’s image, though that sounds a little more “glad I’m not there” than “wish you were here”.

A representative at the social networking giant told Mashable that the fee for sending a card hasn’t yet been decided, with various price points currently being looked at.

The service sounds similar to what you get from the Postagram app, which allows iPhone and Android users to send a physical postcard with a photo from their Instagram or Facebook collection, or from their camera roll. Prices for that service start at 99 cents for deliveries inside the US. The company behind Postagram, California-based Sincerely, is also powering Facebook’s postcard feature.

If Zuckerberg and his co-workers feel they can make some money out of snail mail, we can expect to see the service introduced once the testing phase is complete. But could it really be a significant money-spinner for the company? Aren’t most people happy simply sending off a photo in an email from their smartphone, or just updating their Facebook page? Alternatively, you could always ‘go traditional’ by picking up a pen and actually writing a card in your own hand. Now that really is a novel idea.