Consumers love to have a tangible version of the smartphone photos they take, leading to almost an entirely new industry dedicated to helping them print their Instagrams. Flag is another, but with a twist. The startup lets users print 20 museum quality photos a month for free, thanks to small ads placed on the back of each print.
Users downloading the Flag app simply allow it to access their smartphone photos, pick the ones they want printed and click print. Flag then sends the bundle of 4×6″ photos in the mail, printed at museum quality on 220 gram photo paper. Instead of a white space, Flag places ads on the back, which enable users to get up to 20 prints a month for nothing. As well as the ads, the back of each image also contains a custom caption written by the photographer, and a QR code that contains the metadata of the photo and also allows users to easily order a reprint or share it online. Customers have a choice of rounded corners and laser-cut edges, as well as being able to blow up a single image by printing it across 20 pieces of 4×6″ paper. The photo can also be sent to a friend as a postcard.
Flag successfully reached its funding target on Kickstarter and is set to develop its app for Android as well as iOS, which should be delivered around July this year. How else can unobtrusive ads be used to offer offline services for free?