Android app Postr pays users to use their smartphones

Postr, an Android platform that pays smartphone users to show ads on their lock screen, officially launched yesterday with an app that can be found Google Play.

Milan Reinartz, CEO and co-founder of Postr, said that over 2,000 New Zealanders had already download the app, which works by paying the user if they use their phone at least once every 30 minutes.

“Once you’ve downloaded the app and signed up, ads start appearing on your lock screen,” Milan explains. “We’ll pay you 3 cents for every half hour in which an ad appears on your lock screen as long as you either engage with the ad or unlock your phone at least once – so you don’t have to engage to get paid.”

The maximum amount users can make per month is around $45 NZD, although this would require the smartphone owner to not sleep and interact with the device every half hour, and Postr would have to be fully booked with ads.

“Given that all, or at least most, people do need to sleep, we figured $30 per month is a reasonable figure,” says Milan, who added that users will be able to earn that $30 per month once the company reaches capacity with ad inventory.

“At the moment our users are earning around $5-10 per month and we are working hard to get more advertisers on board to increase this number.”

Unlike most other advertising, Postr ads are solicited and personalised to the user’s interests, age, gender and location. Milan Reinartz says that the problem with the advertising we’re used to is that it’s often not very relevant, or it competes with content that the viewer actually came to see.

“When people download the Postr app, they are aware that ads are going to pop up on their lock screen,” he explains. “Unlike television or digital banner ads, Postr then rewards the viewer for hosting ads on their personal lock screen.”

The app has been created completely in-house, with Mark Penman, Postr’s CTO, developing the app in Java, and Payton Meyer, CCO, designing the user interface. The company has received some seed funding and capital contributions from Postr’s co-founders but is mainly built on sweat equity.

Milan Reinartz, who has been involved with other startups in the past through Lightning Lab and Creative HQ, says that the biggest lesson he’s learned from his entrepreneurial experience is to surround himself with a good team.

“You can’t build something great by yourself,” he said, “but you also can’t design by committee. So the biggest lesson I’ve learnt is to find great talent, divide and conquer. And to work hard and be patient. Then repeat the process.”

Postr is now live and can be downloaded from the Google Play Store on most Android phones and tablets.

Milan says that the company is currently building an ambassador program that allows users to earn extra cash by signing up their friends, so stay tuned by following their Facebook and Twitter accounts.

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