Dispo, the Anti-Instagram app for Gen-Z: How to join and how it works

Dispo Features, tip and tricks

What is Dispo, you may wonder? It was initially launched in 2020 as a disposable camera effect app in the App Store. However, recently a new variant of it spawned with an invite-only social media aspect to it. This latter version is the one that’s been buzzing lately. Unlike the original Dispo app (which is still available), the photo-sharing one’s currently in a private beta state. So, you need an invite to experience the app in its full glory.

Let’s see how to get an invite to Dispo, and why should you even care about getting one.

How does Dispo work?

You must have used or at least come across camera apps (like Huji Cam) that mimic the old-school/retro camera aesthetics (both in the app design and the photo composition). Dispo has a similar interface (like Fuji QuickSnap 400). You look through the viewfinder and then press the shutter button on the right-hand side. This snaps the photo on digital “film rolls” that gets developed and ready to be viewed by 9 AM, next day.

So, you have to wait a while to see the processed image, and there is no option for manual editing or tweaking the output.

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That said, there are some basic controls at your disposal such as flash, zoom dial, and a toggle to switch between rear and selfie camera.

Social media feed also looks and feels different from contemporary platforms such as Instagram. In the profile bio, you can link your other social channels. All you gotta do is add prefixes like “twitter”, “instagram”/“ig”, “tiktok”, etc. to the respective handles.

You can follow other people just like in any other social app. However, a unique feature of Dispo is the SHARED film rolls. This lets you invite others to your film rolls and they can stitch in their disposables to this roll. The Shared Rolls can be made either private or public. The rolls can be general in nature, say representing your daily life or they can be niche collections.

The engagement elements comprise leaderboards, rewards, superlatives.

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How’s Dispo different?

There are significantly fewer controls and means to fake unreal and superficial beauty standards. It thus feels genuine. You are also accustomed to click and forget the photo until it comes processed the next morning. Now, you have no other option but to get down, go out and about with your life. Plus, there’s a chill nostalgic vibe to it, which zoomers dig.

Who is the creator of Dispo?

© Dispo

Popular YouTuber David Dobrik (with 15.1 million subs) is the man and mind behind Dispo. The app will create photos similar to his Instagram grid (@davidsdisposable) which oozes the retro vibe.

The rest of the team consists of co-founders Natalie Mariduena, Daniel Liss, and Jack Reed, lead designer Briana Hokanson, VP of Community TJ Taylor, designer Michael Shillingburg, iOS engineer Malone Hedges, backend engineer Regynald Augustin, and more.

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In October 2020, Dispo raised $4 million in seed funding (Round 1). As of now, it has been funded by 14 investors including Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian’s Seven Seven Six, Shrug Capital, and Luis Balaguer.

Where is Dispo available? How to get a Dispo invite?

The original Dispo app

As aforementioned, Dispo is at present, an invite-only private beta app for iOS. Within a week of its release, it touched TestFlight’s 10,000-user ceiling.

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Ergo, you’ll need someone to invite you. It could be either somebody you know or a generous person over Twitter, Reddit, and other socials. At the same time, beware of scams too.

But don’t worry, as we expect Dispo to make a public release in the App Store soon, and an Android app later this year.


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