March 1, 2021 6 min read
For more than a decade, Instagram has been the undisputed queen of photo apps , but now a rival with a lot of potential has arrived. This is Dispo , a new social network to share snapshots that was launched on February 19 in beta. In less than a week, Dispo became the fourth most downloaded app on the AppStore and has piqued investor interest.
The young app Dispo , contraction of ‘digital disposable camera’ (disposable digital camera), already exceeds 20 million dollars in investments . It is now valued at about $ 200 million , according to Axios .
…. DISPO is about to fuck some shit up. pic.twitter.com/7EjmBLkbWv
– Ian Borthwick (@ianrborthwick) February 24, 2021
The case of Dispo stands out because it does not offer more functions or great innovations compared to Instagram . On the contrary, it limits its possibilities in terms of editing and publication, in a concept that can be defined as ‘back to basics’ .
Inspired by nostalgia for analog film cameras, Dispo does not allow you to cut photos, edit them or add filters, stickers, text, etc. What’s more, they cannot even be published instantly or whenever the user likes, but they are ‘revealed’ until 09:00 the next day. For this reason, the Buzzfeed portal says that it is the ‘anti-Instagram’ social network.
In Dispo , the photos are shown as they are and you cannot add a caption to explain what is happening. These are published separately or in ‘rolls’ that can be shared and supplemented by other users. As in other applications of this type, users give ‘likes’ and can comment on the publications.
Like Clubhouse , the new social network focused on audio-only chats, Dispo can only be downloaded by invitation.
In an interview with The New York Times , David Dobrik , the creator of Dispo , explained that he purposely limited the options. The purpose is to bring the user closer to the experience of using a disposable camera , like the ones before.
“When I used to go to parties with my friends, they had disposable cameras all over the house, and they invited people to take pictures at night. In the morning, they would pick up all the cameras, look back at the footage and say, ‘What happened last night?’ ” Explained Dobrik , who has been featured on YouTube and the now defunct Vine video platform.
Those who have already tried this beta version applaud its simplicity and the possibility of displaying more natural and spontaneous images.
“I feel like the photos are simpler,” said Goldie Chan, founder of Warm Robots, a social strategy agency in Los Angeles. He added that other apps have too many elements, but “when you have something like Dispo or VSCO, you are just taking pictures. You can capture a moment in time and let it go . “
“I don’t have to sit down and cut it out or edit it. I take a photo and hope it turns out. I can go back and look at it later instead of looking at it now and making these adjustments or worrying about taking 10 to 12 more photos than I’m trying to take, ” said Anyha Garcia, a homemaker from Utah.
“Instagram turned everyone into general photographers. Dispo makes you a photographer with a purpose. That is where the construction of the community is: everyone seeks the same thing through their own lens, ” said user Terry O’Neal, who has created several color-themed rolls and asked other users to collaborate with images that are fit each topic. “That’s where the community is being built, everyone looking for the same thing through their own eyes,” he said.
How Dispo came about
David Dobrik started posting his candid photos to Instagram in June 2019 and quickly amassed millions of followers. Other influencers and celebrities, such as Gigi Hadid and Tana Mongeau opened their own ‘disposable’ accounts, creating a trend among users.
Seeing the potential of this scheme, Dobrik set out to bring the disposable camera experience into the digital realm, as a way to counter the obsession with perfect photos.
Dobrik launched the David’s Disposable app in December 2019, allowing retro-looking images to be captured that were ‘developed’ overnight. The platform gained enough followers to encourage the 24-year-old youtuber to invest more in its development, all the way to Dispo .
The Dispo boom among influencers, users and investors
Dispo rose to fourth place among the most downloaded apps from AppStopre in the United States in less than a week after its launch. Several influencer reviews are already circulating on YouTube , as well as tips for getting invites and accelerated growth techniques. In Clubhouse soble Dispo discussion groups have been opened and some photographs of the appa have reached the digital art market as NFT or ‘non-fungible tokens’.
Although it is in a very early phase and the company has only eight people on its staff, Dispo already plans to open an office in Japan and has positioned itself as a very interesting bet for venture investors.
The company raised $ 4 million last October, in a seed funding round led by the Seven Seven Six firm of Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian. Last week, it raised another $ 20 million in a Series A funding round led by Spark Capital at a valuation of $ 200 million , according to Axios . In addition, they are in talks with other top venture capital firms, including Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz and Benchmark, according to The Information.