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Six Utterly Bizarre Messaging Startups

There's alternatives.

Better Letter

Sure, iOS 10 has introduced some nifty new tricks to the messaging app, like stickers and special effects. But if you really want your missive to stand out, you need to think different.

Check out six of the strangest messaging startups you’ve ever seen.

Message In a Bottle
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The messaging platform of choice for island castaways and bored kids has found a new life online. It turns out there’s an international network of people willing to print out your missive, stick it in a bottle, and hurl it into the nearest body of water. The barebones website at Message in a Bottle Server promises to connect you.

Potato Parcel
When Potato Parcel first launched in May 2015, the service – promising to print your message onto a spud and then mail it to anyone in the world – became an instant, unlikely smash. And remarkably, it’s still going strong – founder Alex Craig is reportedly bringing in $25,000 in revenue every month.

Naturally, the concept has spawned a few imitators, with newcomers like Mail A Spud, Anonymous Potato, and Potato In the Post all trying to get in the game. (We really wish this were a joke.)

Telegram Stop
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Are you a steampunk enthusiast who longs for the staccato teletype of classic telegraphy, complete with STOPs and all-caps? Then Telegram Stop is for you. Type your message (into a web browser), and the site will transform it into telegraph-ese, print it off, and send it to the recipient of your choice for $7.45.

PigeonGram
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The use of homing pigeons to transmit messages dates back to 12th-century Baghdad, but of course, the technology has its limitations (it also needs to eat). While Texas’ Pigeongram can’t actually get an avian emissary to deliver your message, the site promises to have it carried by a homing pigeon before mailing it off via the U.S. Mail. We’re not sure of the appeal either, but if that potato thing could succeed, why not?

Postcrossing
If you’re less concerned with getting a specific message to a specific individual, Postcross takes a pen-pal-meets-pyramid-scheme approach to the mail service. Send a postcard to a random address provided by the platform, and they promise you’ll receive one in turn, from some random location anywhere in the world.

Mail Art
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Largely the creation of Ray Johnson (that’s him above), the Mail Art movement was born in the 1950s, dedicated to the proposition that even a post card could be rendered art. The International Union of Mail Artists is a 4,000-member strong community that is dedicated to exchanging mail art.

Existential Dread
If you want to inspire confusion and possibly terror in your friends, why not ship them a whole lot of nothing? Ship Your Friends Nothing will do just that, delivering an empty box to your victim’s doorstep, with prices starting at $7.95.

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