Jan. 31, 2014 at 3:17 PM ET
A new service called Flag is raising funds on Kickstarter with a promise that at first seems impossible: prints of your photos, 20 a month, with nothing to pay, ever. The catch is that on the back of each photo is — you guessed it, an ad.
At first it sounds a bit offensive — ads all over the back of your cherished memories? But then you might consider that those memories might have otherwise stayed unprinted forever on your phone. And hey, the price is right.
The app, still in beta form right now, lets you select up to 20 pictures every month to be printed at 4-by-6-inches and mailed right to your door. There are plenty of customization options; no need to crop if you don't want to, and you can add borders or text. You can even pick to have just one photo spread out puzzle-style over all 20 prints.
No indication is given of just what kind of advertisements you can expect on the back, but they can't be as obnoxious as the animated banner ads found everywhere on the Internet. And if you put the photo in a frame, you won't have to look at the ad for long anyway.
Right now the app is at about half of its Kickstarter goal of $100,000. Perhaps people are a bit wary of paying up front for a service that will eventually be free. But backing the project gets you early access and a bit of credit to use toward larger prints, postcards and other premium products Flag will offer.
Devin Coldewey is a contributing writer for NBC News Digital. His personal website is coldewey.cc.