Inkifi, print beautiful Instagram photos from your smartphone
Instagram is an app/service that allows its users to share photos and short videos via a variety of social networks (Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Flickr). Nothing new so far, however Instagram became a leader in its category due to a single idea: applying digital filters to photos. That’s right, Instagram quickly allowed its users to apply the filters you usually have in a digital camera, but directly from their smartphones.
Instagram is one of the most successful stories in the digital world I’ve known so far and you’ll agree with me when I present you all the details. You see, this service was launched in October 2010 and started gaining some traction. It did it in such a fast manner that by April 2012 they had 100 million active users. To put this into perspective, they gained in average 2.5 new users per second since the day the service was launched. However, the service shocked when, with only 13 employees, it was sold to Facebook for $1 billion in 2012. Sure, its user base exploded after that but the story loses interest after.
Instagram became a de-facto standard in sharing photos via social networks, at least among teenagers (and Kim Kardashian). They did lose a chunk of users when an erroneous change in their policy allowed Instagram to sell its users photos without their consent, but Facebook never was good at privacy policies. Due to its popularity, additional complementary services were launched too, not by Instagram itself but by third parties. One of the most interesting such services is having your Instagram photos printed and shipped to you, either as regular photos or on various gift objects.
Inkifi is the Android app that lets you create prints directly from your Instagram photos. That’s right, if you have an Instagram account and you start Inkifi from your smartphone, you can associate it with the app and it will access your online albums. After that, you pick what exactly you’d like the photos to be printed on (i.e. canvas prints, magnets, greeting cards), you add your own details and order the prints – all from your smartphone without opening any browsers.
Inkifi is not restricted to the US only, you can order prints from many other countries as they ship internationally. The company is located in the UK and obviously the shipping is free within the UK, however I didn’t find the shipping price too expensive for the rest of the world either, for instance it costs around $4 to ship something within the European Union and around $7.5 to ship in the US. Since the app is actually a companion for their main site, you can check more info on inkifi.com/shipping.
Back to the app, after you install it you can fill in your profile as the information included there will be used for ordering and the good part is that once you have that in place each time you’ll place an order you won’t have to fill in anything else. After your profile is set, you have to choose what exactly you want the photos to be printed on: regular printed photos (square format as on Instagram), Polaroid-style printed photos, magnets, greeting cards, canvas/framed prints and montages, mini photo books, acrylic blocks and T-shirts. Once the product is selected all you have to do is choose the photos from your Instagram account that you want printed on the product. You select each photo with a simple tap and depending on the product you might need to select multiple photos (i.e. for magnets). When all’s ready, order the product and all you have to do is wait.
Here’s a list of features for Inkifi that sums up what it can do:
- Print Instagram photos. The core functionality of Inkifi is obviously the fact that you can immortalize your Instagram photos on various personalized items. Items with custom photos on them also make excellent gifts for friends and family. When you’re in doubt regarding a gift, think about a personalized one, where you can Instagram a photo to a T-shirt or any other item from the Inkifi supported list and you’re done. The only requirement to have your photos used this way is of course associating your Instagram account with Inkifi, so that it gets access to your art work. Next just select a product and associate the photos you want to it with simple taps before placing the order.
- Multiple products. Currently they offer 10 different products you can personalize with your photos: Polaroid prints, square prints, poster prints, mini photo book, framed prints, fridge magnets, greeting cards, canvas prints, acrylic prism and T-shirts. I’m sure that more products will be added depending on demand – my bet would be on personalized smartphone cases. For each of the product you want customized you’ll need to select photos. That’s why the range of photos needed for a product varies from 8 photos to 48 of them.
- Worldwide shipping. I’m glad that this app isn’t country restricted so you can install it on your device and order customized products even if you’re outside of the UK (where the Inkifi company is based). They ship worldwide with prices that range from 0 (within the UK) to around $10 (for the most farther away country). Shipping time can be as fast as 2 days or as slow as up to 10, depending on the destination.
- Flexible ordering. The quantity of ordered photos can vary but Inkifi doesn’t limit the quantity. For each of the product you want customized you’ll need to select photos. That’s why the range of photos needed for a product varies from 8 photos to 48 of them.
- Free. Inkifi is free to install and doesn’t have any ads. It doesn’t need any since you already have to pay for the products you’re ordering.
Inkifi is suitable for Instagram users that want to order personalized gifts using the photos they already store on Instagram, filter or no filter applied. I’m by far the worst photographer according to my wife, but luckily with Instagram you don’t have to limit yourself to the photos you took as you can use the photos shared by others. So if there are some memorable ones you like you can have them custom printed with Inkifi to use as motivational items or personalized gifts.