In April, StopPress reported that a team of Wellingtonians was planning to launch a technology start-up called Postr, an app-based service that would get brands into consumers' pockets by serving ads on their smartphone homescreens. And now, only a few months later, the project has officially launched and is accessible to the Kiwi public.
Previously, founder and director Milan Reinhartz told StopPress that Postr is a publisher in the sense that advertisers pay it to distribute a message to its user-base. The difference, however, is that a portion of the revenue is also shared with the users, who download the app, fill in their details and agree to have ads on their homescreens.
After downloading the app, personalised advertising appears on a user’s lock screen, and the user can either swipe left to engage with the advert or swipe right to enter the phone. By allowing advertisers to take over their home screens, users can make up to $30 per month, which will then either be transferred into a selected bank account or donated to charity.
Last July, a US-based team of tech entrepreneurs launched Locket, an app based on an almost identical premise to that of Postr. Before long the app garnered in excess of 150,000 users, who were all willing to earn a few pennies for swiping into their phones. However, some users quickly learnt how to abuse the system and this led Locket to change its policy, making it more difficult for users to earn money during the app.
This decision backfired, leading the company to release the following statement via Facebook:
Despite the problems experienced abroad, Reinhartz says that his team has learnt from the mistakes of others and will not make similar errors in the Kiwi market.
"Our ad serving system is quite different," he says. "The ads are served in 30-minute slots to ensure accurate measurability."
Previously, the ratecard was $60 CPM and Postr ads were served in time slots of 30 minutes, with an impression only counted if a user swiped their phone at least once within a slot. This system was however updated due to user feedback.
"This has become redundant as we've changed our booking model and rate card to a CPC model and the time slots don't affect ad bookings anymore," says Reinhartz. "This came about as a response to market feedback – basically advertisers prefer to book in a way they're used to booking, ie. by CPC or CPM. We're also looking to offer a CPM model in the near future."
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He explains that the crux of the system is to make consumers voluntary participants in the advertising, in the sense that they stand to gain from seeing an ad.
“We don’t want people to feel like they’re getting spammed," he says. "We really want people to enjoy the content and look forward to it. All ads on Postr are beautifully crafted and personalised to the user’s interests. You get rewarded financially for hosting the ads, and it’s entirely up to you whether you engage or not. You still get paid.”
The app is available for Android phones and tablets on Google Play and is being promoted on Facebook. Brands that are advertising on Postr include KFC, Paramount Pictures, Wellington Tourism and Jim Beam.