Trending app - Famileo - that connects families is launched in UK
New research, conducted by YouGov, reveals the sharp decline in people sending and receiving postcards in recent years.
More than of those surveyed have not received one in more than five years.
Despite this, more than half of people say that postcards are a great way to communicate with those who are not on social media.*
Famileo, a digital family app that crosses digital divides and has taken France by storm, is now available in the UK.
Family members use the app to add photos and messages, which are compiled into a personalised newspaper that is printed and posted to their relative – usually an elderly grandparent.
It means holiday snaps often shared on social media can now be shared with grandparents who are not digitally savvy or on social media.
The app was the brainchild of Tanguy de Gélis, who was inspired by his own grandma.
Tanguy used a WhatsApp group to keep in touch with his extended relatives. He bought his grandma an iPad one Christmas so she could join in.
Tanguy said: “One day when I went to visit her, I noticed the iPad on her table gathering dust.
"She told me it wasn’t easy for her to use and that she missed the family postcards and letters she used to get. So that got me thinking about an app with a digital interface for young people and a newspaper for the elderly.”
Famileo initially launched in France in 2015 where it has more than 200,000 families – around 1.5 million people – using the app.
It’s proven a big hit with grandchildren and grandparents as an easy way to cross digital divides and keep in touch.
Each newspaper, or gazette, includes as many as 30 messages and can be delivered around the world.
The idea is to help families, no matter where they are or how busy their lifestyle, stay in touch. The Famileo app has also been a godsend for families with children, grandchildren and great grandchildren who live and work all over the world.
“Famileo is a wonderful tool for keeping our family in touch and for sharing the memories we are making – for all of us,” said Karen Ferguson, 65, who uses it for her 90-year-old mum Nancy.
“Mum says she really looks forward to each one, and the family life and holiday photos in those pages. It’s also a connection. I’m able to do something, from a distance, which gives my mum pleasure,” she said.
“We refer to it as ‘WhatsApp for the elderly’. Even for families who aren’t as far-flung as mine, it’s a wonderful tool for keeping in touch.”
Tanguy said: “It can have a profound impact on the family dynamic.
"As well as being an easy way for grandchildren to write to their grandparents, it also helps build connection and reduce feelings of loneliness. It’s an app that brings joy to grandparents.”
Famileo was founded in 2015 in France by entrepreneur Tanguy de Gélis and his business partner, Armel de Lesquen.
Around 200,000 families now use the service and more than one million messages have been sent through Famileo. The company employs more than 50 people. Famileo’s newspapers, or gazettes, are read by people in more than 50 countries and they are now available in English, Spanish and Dutch. Subscriptions are available in euros, dollars and pounds.