Thursday, December 6, 2012

StickyGram Magnets Review and Giveaway

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The code you'll need is: sticky

StickyGram Magnets Review and Giveaway

by Yaara Lancet
Instagram has taken the world by storm, and despite the app being relatively new, there's not a soul among our readers who hasn't at least heard of it. With user count reaching 100 million a few months ago, it's definitely not a force to ignore. In fact, it's now almost a synonym to photo-sharing, if not to mobile photography in general.
With this immense popularity, Instagram is a great platform to take advantage of, and many Web apps, printing services and the like have sprung out all over the place. These services are now so common, that when I first heard of StickyGram, my expectations weren't very high. The idea is very cute - taking your favorite Instagram photos and printing them on flexible square magnets - but will the execution match the idea?
We set out to test drive StickyGram, and ordered four packs of these Instagram magnets to four different places of the world. Each sheet of StickyGrams includes nine magnets, 50mm X 50mm in size, costs $14.99, and ships worldwide for free. According to the StickyGram website, the magnets are produced by a unique process which results in flexible yet durable magnets, with quality and colors to match the original image. But what are they really like? You can read our verdict below, and as usual, enter the giveaway to win one of 5 sheets of 9 StickyGram magnets, made from your own Instagram photos!

Creating Your StickyGram Magnets

To get started, you will first need to connect StickyGram with your Instagram account. StickyGram will then display all your Instagram photos for you to choose from, and each one you click on will be added to your virtual magnet sheet on the right.
The creation process is really simple; your only job is to choose which photos you'd like to include, and while this is definitely a hard choice to make, it's also where your hard work ends. If you change your mind, you can always remove photos from your sheet by hovering over them and clicking "Remove". You can also move the photos around on the sheet and place them in any order you want. In the long run, though, the order doesn't matter much, as you'll be separating them once they arrive anyway.
After adding the sheet to your basket, you'll get the option to order several copies of the same sheet, add another sheet, go back and edit the sheet, or just go ahead and buy it. Throughout the checkout process, your sheet will be visible on the left side, so you can make sure you've made the right choices again and again. You can pay for your StickGram using PayPal or credit card, and as mentioned above, they ship worldwide for free from the UK, and should arrive within 14 working days, depending on where you live.
The creation process is really simple and smooth, with a very friendly and straightforward interface. Not once was I confused about what I should do next or where to access a certain option. With that, let's move on to the really interesting part: the magnets themselves.

The Magnets: What Are They Like?

About a week after placing the order, I received an envelope in the mail - the magnets have arrived!
I opened the envelope expectantly, and found my sheet of magnets, and a friendly note from StickyGram telling me that if I'm not happy for any reason, I should contact them and they'll do their best to fix it. On the other side of the note, I found a cute little printout of my magnet sheet.
I was immediately impressed by the magnets. The printing quality is surprisingly good, they come with a matte finish which makes the colors stand out, and despite my worries, the photos seem to be printed on the magnet instead of being stuck to it in a way that can peel off.
Separating the sheet to individual magnets is very easy; all you have to do is pull on them slightly and they come apart. There's no need to worry about sticking, tearing or any of those inconveniences. The magnets are also very durable, and can bend easily without breaking or showing any signs of wear.
The magnets come with a thin white frame on each photo which does not appear in the online preview. This white frame is included whether or not your original Instagram has its own frame or not. For this reason, you might find that some images have double white frames, some have white surrounding black frames, and some have only the built-in white frame. You can see the difference clearly.
The magnets are not extremely strong, but are enough to hold up a piece of paper. And they do such a great job at livening up your dreary fridge, you wouldn't want to waste them on heavy-duty magnet work anyway.
Besides me, three other MakeUseOf authors ordered a sheet of StickyGrams. James, who is in the UK, received them 5 days after placing the order.
James loved the printing quality, and thought the magnets have a great value at just over $1.50 each. He didn't like the fact that some of his magnets came with double borders, and chose to snip off the extra border in every magnet that had one. For that reason, some of James's magnets have only the black frame, unlike my own, uncut magnets. To avoid this, he suggests that you try choosing Instagram photos that don't have borders in the filter.
Tina, in Germany, received her StickyGrams 4 days after placing the order. In fact, she found them in her mailbox on the same say she received the notice they were shipped.
She also loved the printing quality, and thought the colors were very sharp and deep. She pointed out that the magnets are not very strong, but thought they make a really cool present. Unlike James, Tina felt that at just over $1.50 per magnet, the StickyGrams are a bit expensive.
Jackson, in Australia, received his StickyGrams after approximately 10 days, which is still less than the maximum time mentioned on the StickGram website.
The same as the rest of us, Jackson was happy with his magnets and thought the printing quality is awesome, but pointed out that the matte finish of the magnets might discolor over time. I guess we'll have to wait and see about that. Jackson also mentioned that the magnets are more of a decorative item, and don't really perform when it comes to holding up papers, bills, or anything too heavy. He also noticed the double border issue, and thought that photos that already come with a light-colored frame looked especially weird.
After four tests in four different parts of the world, the overall impression is the same: the StickGrams are awesome, the printing quality is great, and we're all very happy with our beautiful magnets. The only thing thing to take into account is the white border which does not appear while creating your magnets, but is present in the finished product.
Want to purchase a StickyGram as a Christmas stocking filler? Place your order before Dec 9 (Dec 13 if you're in the UK) to receive it before Christmas!
We're giving away 5 sheets of 9 StickyGram magnets to MakeUseOf readers this week. Want to join? Read on.

Enter the Giveaway On Our Website

The code you'll need is: sticky
This giveaway begins now and ends Wednesday, Dec 12th. The winners will be selected at random and informed via email.
Spread the word to your friends and have fun!