This app has me pretty damn excited. I travel a lot and never in my life have taken the time to mail a postcard (I know my mom has always been disappointed in her son on the postcard front). But that's going to change now though thanks to HippoMobile's Hippopost!
Hippopost was actually started by a couple of ex-RIM employees and is a new mobile service that allows you to snap a photo on your smartphone, add a personalized note and submit it to hippopost via their on-device app. From there, hippopost prints out the physical postcard and mails it to the recipient, which they receive 7 to 10 days later. It's a painless process, and best of all, it's FREE. Hippost supports the free service by placing a sponsored ad on each card it sends out (front frame and small one on the back). You can actually choose the sponsor from a list of ones provided so you're showing the recipient something that'll jive for them (see image below for an example). You can send up to two free postcards per day, each and every day, and if you want to send more than two per day, you can purchase additional credits. Hippopost plans to up the daily free limit as more sponsors come on board, but two free per day is more than solid to begin with.
* Take Note: Hippopost let us know that while Canadian cards are being processed daily, US delivery from the mobile app begins October 15th (or hopefully sooner - they're just inking some final sponsor deals to cover freight). Users can go ahead and create their US destined postcards anyway and they'll queue them up for mailing in a few weeks. And International delivery will also begin this fall (limitation is not delivery, it's sponsors - they need to line them up so they can can keep this free to consumers). *
Offering a service like this that's advertising revenue supported is pure awesome. Keeping it free of charge for the sender makes using it a no-brainer, and I doubt the recipients will mind an ad in the least bit. For the advertiser, it's a pretty compelling opportunity as well... as I'm typing this I just snapped a photo and sent it to my mom as a postcard and you just know she'll be hanging onto that for years to come (if you read this and decide to approach hippopost about advertising, be sure to tell them you heard about hippopost on CrackBerry!). Being RIM guys they started with what they know - a BlackBerry app, but with time you'll see them push hippopost out to more platforms. Download it and give it a try and be sure to report back in the comments with who you sent your first BlackBerry postcard too!
Download: It should be available from App World soon, but in the meantime you can download Hippopost for your BlackBerry by visiting http://mobile.hippopost.com on your BlackBerry's web browser.
Example Hippopost Postcard (front, back)