The golden feature of this app is its “Custom Network” capability, which allows you to share to your own website. Many times people will share content, such as a quick status or photo, to Facebook or Twitter. The content is then hosted on the social networks, which gobble up all the traffic.
Postcard addresses this problem by allowing you to set your own website as the “host” network and direct all the traffic to your site where the content is hosted.
WordPress Plugin Connects Postcard to Your Website
Given that WordPress is the world’s leading publishing platform, Postcard’s creator decided to launch with WordPress integration available from day one.
This plugin performs two main functions:
- Links the Postcard App to your WordPress site
- Makes it possible to display content sent via Postcard on your site
When you send your content to be hosted on your site, you won’t have any of the character restrictions that come with sharing to other social networks. The plugin creates shareable permalinks attached to the messages that you share to Facebook, Twitter and other networks.
The Postcard WordPress plugin also gives you a number of shortcodes to use in the post/page editor for inserting content that comes from the app. The shortcodes make it easy to display an archive, feed or gallery of your Postcard content. The content can also be filtered using the designated attributes, such as tags or count:
The Postcard Social Networking Plugin is available for free on WordPress.org. With the plugin and the app working hand-in-hand, you can create an archive of all the data that you share to social networks from your phone, even if you don’t choose to use shortcodes to display it on the front-end.
Own Your Content and Boost Traffic to Your WordPress Site
Kyle Newsome, the app’s creator, said that the ability to share to your own website is the feature that he is the most excited about: “It represents most strongly why I started building this app in the first place – to help people solve content ownership and control issues I see prevalent in the shape of social media today.”
Newsome designed Postcard to be a tool that can help people to keep their website content fresh. “There is a big opportunity with this app to make sure your website doesn’t go stale as you post regular short form content to social networks,” he said. Since many people are already putting quite a bit of effort into updating their social networks, Postcard gives you a way to broadcast to all of them while passing the resulting traffic on to your own website.
One important thing to note is that Postcard doesn’t store your content or use it to create a social network of any kind. I asked Newsome to clarify how it works. “It doesn’t store data or use 3rd party servers,” he said. “All credentials are local and securely stored on the phone.” This is an important distinction when comparing Postcard to other apps that claim to let you own your own data. If you use the Custom Network feature, the app simply couriers that data to your site where you own the content.
An App to Fundamentally Change How We Use Social Networks
Postcard presents a new way to interact with social networks. When announcing the upcoming launch, Newsome said, “For those of us who are active content creators, I think this marks a very important change in the way we use social media.” Having your own website as the canonical source for the content you create has value beyond the traffic that you gain. That link to your site and the fact that you host the data assigns ownership of that content to you. It also provides a lasting archive of your content that can be sorted and presented in any way that you choose.
Right now Postcard is only available for iOS. I asked Newsome if an Android app is in the works. He replied, “Yes, cross-platform is in the plan. I’m looking at ways to hit both desktop and more mobile platforms.” As soon as these tools are available, Postcard will be set to double, if not triple its user base, given that Android currently dominates the smartphone market. We’ll keep you updated as these tools continue to develop.