Back to retro?

Dispo, an invite-only retro photo app, promises to be the new hype

YouTuber and social media influencer David Dobrik is fed up with edited photos.

Enter Dispo.

Previously known as David’s Disposable, and apparently tested out first on Instagram to assess demand, Dispo is a new photo app intended to function as a disposable camera. The app, which is currently invite-only, allows users to take photos, but there are no photo editing options, apart from the flash, and no captions. Users have to wait for the photos to “develop,” and can only access them after 9am the following day. They can share their photos separately or in themed collections called “Rolls” where other users can be invited to comment and collaborate.

Dispo’s beta version launched on February 19 in the United States and quickly claimed a place among the most downloaded apps on Apple’s App Store. The company is currently valued at $200million and is backed by the venture capital fund Seven Seven Six, and celebrities like Sofia Vergara and The Chainsmokers.

Dispo is a compelling product, because it rides several trends that are driven by Gen Z. Founded by a celebrity, the app does not allow the photos to be edited or filtered, emphasising “authenticity” over perfection in an era of Photoshopped Instagram selfies. Positioned as a “disposable camera,” it winks at nostalgia. And by focusing on building micro-communities in the form of Rolls and being “invite-only”, it is able to create a Clubhouse-like pull.

As with Clubhouse, it will be interesting to see if Dispo will be able to use its short-term success to build a strong, long-lasting social platform.

Featured image: Dispo /