Instagram products are insta-popular

  • Article by: ALEJANDRA MATOS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 14, 2012 - 2:50 PM

The photo-sharing app has spawned a bevy of companies happy to put your photos on any number of items.

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Insta-cookies from Baking for Good in New York are $36 a dozen, plus delivery.

Photo: Tom Wallace, Star Tribune

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Insta-coasters, Insta-books, even Insta-cookies -- Instagram is coming to a coffee table near you.

Instagram users can now purchase everyday products adorned with their favorite images, as companies begin to profit from the popular mobile photo-sharing service, which was recently bought by Facebook and has more than 80 million registered users.

Lindsay Swiggum has already turned some of her favorite photos, snapped with an iPhone, into magnets for her refrigerator.

"My roommates would poke fun at me all the time for using Instagram, but when I got the magnets they were jealous," said Swiggum, 21, of Minneapolis.

Swiggum bought three large Insta-magnets from the online printing service Shutterfly. They feature a sunset (one of her favorite things to Instagram), a photo with her boyfriend and another with a group of friends.

Although she has never been called an Insta-hipster, she knows the purchase put her one shot closer.

"If my friends and I are on a walk they laugh and say, 'Gosh, how many photos are you going to take?'" Swiggum said.

The market for Instagram-related products is vast, but the quality varies. Stickygram is another company that produces Instagram-adorned magnets. Castagram makes cellphone cases. Keepsy produces calendars.

Want a throw pillow? Stitchtagram can take care of that for you (for about $68).

If that's not your cup of tea, and instead you want a cookie to accompany your tea, there's Baking for Good.

For $36, a dozen cinnamon-infused sugar cookies, decorated with up to six Instagram photos, can be sent to any shutterbug's doorstep.

Emily Dubner, founder of the New York-based company, began selling the cookies this past summer. Although customers can send any type of photo, her squared cookies work well with Instagram and have been dubbed Insta-grahams.

"It is one of my favorite social media tools," Dubner said. "We get the most response and interaction with people on Instagram, and I think that's what sets it apart from the others."

Incorporating the fashionably filtered photos into her business helped boost sales, she said. December has traditionally been Baking for Good's busiest month, but with the Insta-cookies, Dubner said she is sending off 100 cookies a day.

People typically send them as gifts, Dubner said. And what better way to show off an Insta-gift?

"Everyone loves to Instagram their Instagram cookies," she said.

Alejandra Matos • 612-673-4028 • Twitter: @amatos12

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