Hi there! I'm Jose E. Ruano, the writer of The New Gazette. You are receiving this email because you signed up for it, a weekly newsletter about all things digital. Thank you for being here. If this email was forwarded to you, subscribe by clicking the button below.
This story was written before the scandal related to David Dobrik’s other activities, I will not turn it down as it tells a good work related to one venture but I do not accept any bad behavior he did or show on his videos.
This newsletter started with the hope of sharing brands or people doing an amazing job on the internet. I have tried to first, talk about who they are and then give my opinion of why I believe what they’re doing is incredible.
Sometimes, I focus on one in specific, other times I share a bunch according to the topic I’m writing about.
I have talked about projects worth watching, companies, some small others really big, and creators who are changing the internet landscape.
A few months ago, I made a story about David Dobrik and one of his projects, a really curious puzzle which you can read here.
Today, I will talk about another project of his, this time one that is creating a lot of conversations around the world and is bringing some nostalgia to the internet.
It’s called Dispo.
What is that?
Dispo is a nostalgic photo app created by David Dobrik and his incredible team of designers and engineers. The app when you open it feels like an old disposable camera that you can use to give your shots a vintage look. You took a photo, but as a difference with digital cameras, you are not allowed to see the photos you’ve taken until 9 am of the other day.
It’s authentic, raw, and interesting
Photo of the how it looks like
Right now, there are two versions of the app.
Dispo 1.0, only the camera (as above) to take stylish photos, currently available on the app store
Dispo 2.0, the one making the headlines, currently in testing mode. In this version, users are allowed to create a profile, follow others and share photographs, only with the condition of waiting until your rolls are developed. To use it, for now, you need to have an invite to access the TestFlight beta.
Once you get inside, you got 20 invites to share with your family and friends and keep the momentum of the app going.
Over the weekend, this was the only thing I could see on Twitter, people giving their invites and some trying to find ways to get in.
The buzz was so big that the 10,000 limit on TestFlight, which is Apple’s program to help developers test beta versions of their apps, was topped and hundreds of people are still waiting to download the app but it cannot be possible until is fully available.
Why is so special?
Dispo got a lot of attention as it brings back a few elements the current landscape of social media is missing. Things like:
A simple user interface
A better social part
The social part of the app is what is really clever. Inside any user can create “rolls“ that act as photo albums where you put all your photos inside and organize them in whatever form you want, you can add other people as well to your rolls to have more photos in them.
Take an example, there can be a roll called “puppies” and all the people who took a picture of a puppy and assign it to this roll will be there.
Making your own personal space on this topic. You could create anything you could think of, rolls of fruits, happy people, sneakers, and more, building a community behind it.
The best part about the app is everything they left out to differentiate from others.
As Janine Sickmeyer, which is an early user of the app put it in an article she wrote:
There are no filters, no editing tools, no captions, no camera uploads, no memes, no quotes, no algorithms for vanity metrics, and no ability to import contacts from other social media accounts. Everyone starts at the same place: zero.
Which makes it feel like the old internet, a place where you could interact with others who share the same love as you on taking photos of everything.
As Gen Zs are bringing back features of the old age. People wanted a solution, and now they have it.
A few weeks back Bloomberg shared an article telling the world how this generation is using things from the Web 1.0, as they call it, the old aesthetic of the internet (big fonts, buttons, and colorful designs) to new companies, Dispo is right in there with their idea, bringing something like disposable cameras to the digital world.
Some people have been saying Dispo is the new Instagram, as the platform has become a mess to understand and people share only the filtered version of their lives and I think they are really on the right path to achieve it.
Here you can see the reason why the app was started, trying to bring vulnerability, honesty, and authenticity back into our digital life.
The app is still in the development phase to add more features but according to some sources, it’s already a $100 million idea.
Unlike Instagram, there’s an unlimited number of contexts you can post in. Until now, posts have been limited to your public feed, your “finsta” — from “fake insta,” an account you use for your 2am kind of photos — or your Close Friend stories, none of which capture all the contexts of our day-to-day experiences.
With Dispo is different. You could create a community based on your interest and not try to show the perfect angle to everything. Just show what you see all around you.
As the photos don’t develop until the next morning, you’re forced to live in the present. No more Fear Of Missing Out, you just wait and at the right moment, the content will be there.
I follow some members of the Dispo team on Twitter and they’re incredibly talented, cannot wait to see what’s coming in the next few weeks.
This app is an example of how to use the internet as a tool to leverage your work, glad I found it.
It totally deserved a story.
Until next week,
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