After achieving viral fame on Vine, YouTube, Instagram and pretty much every other social media platform he’s tried his hand at, David Dobrik has decided to start his own platform, and I really reckon he’s onto something here.
Let me introduce to you: Dispo.
Unless you’re a diehard fan of the Vlog Squad or frequent the tech side of Twitter, Reddit or TikTok, you’d be forgiven for having never heard of this bad boy, especially because it’s still in the beta phase.
Thankfully, I got my grubby little mitts on an invite to the beta, which not only allowed me to flex about how I’m cooler than my friends who *didn’t* get one, but also gave me the opportunity to get the 411 before it goes live.
What Is Dispo?
The app itself has been around for more than a year, which is why you can technically download it on the App Store right now. But that’s not the Dispo everyone is talking about.
Earlier this month, an invite-only beta version of the app with a new social media service was rolled out.
Previously, the app – formerly known as David’s Disposables – functioned as a virtual version of a disposable film camera. Basically, you took photos, waited until 9am the next morning for them to “develop” and were left with authentic-looking film photos.
The camera part of the app is really cool because the photos actually look like they were taken on film, unlike the Instagram filters all of your favourite influencers try to flog as 35mm photography.
How Does Dispo Differ From Other Social Media Apps Like Instagram?
At first, I thought the main drawcard of Dispo was the ~aesthetic~ of it all. You know, the kids are all about that nostalgia trip, and what says “I was born in the wrong generation” quite like disposable camera pics? Nothing!
But the app is fundamentally really different to anything we’ve seen before.
It still has likes and comments, much like Instagram, but that’s not really the *point* of the app.
There are no filters, witty captions or hashtags to skyrocket you to viral fame, which makes me think we won’t see Dispo influencers any time soon (but in the age of social media, never say never).
Why The Wait?
The thought of waiting until 9am for my photos to develop was a bit of a disappointment for me at first. I mean, it’s 2021 and we have brain-melting 5G technology but you’re telling me I can’t look at my photos until I’m battling a dusty hangover?! I think the fuck not.
But as it turns out, this is actually part of the app’s vision, as pointed out in the full title Dispo – Live in the moment. The delayed gratification is actually part of the process and weirdly, in an age of instant gratification it actually feels kinda good to have to wait for something.
Basically, by mimicking the “you can’t see this until it develops” part of a disposable camera, users aren’t distracted with downloading, filtering and uploading to their feed, thus allowing them to just take mindless photos and enjoy them when the moment has passed.
The next morning, you get to wake up, sip your coffee and take a gander at all of the (probably) drunk pics you took with your mates the night before.
Which brings me to my next point: the collaboration.
Dispo Is Made For Fun Nights With Friends
Dispo doesn’t have a feed or grid like Instagram or Twitter, instead, photos are categorised into “rolls.”
Not only does this make it easy to sort your photos by event or type (e.g a roll dedicated to delicious food you’ve eaten), but it also puts less emphasis on an individual image and more on the experience.
Gone are the days of picking the absolute best photo for your Instagram, or the one that’ll suit your grid the best. With Dispo, you can share the whole memory, rather than just the single photo that your ass looks best in.
But the *really* cool thing about rolls is that they’re collaborative.
You can invite all of your friends to the same roll, take a bunch of fun pics on your weekend getaway or on a night on the piss, then share those memories together.
Essentially, it’s mimicking back in the day when a disposable camera would do the rounds at a party and you’d end up seeing the night through the lens of whoever tf picked it up when you eventually got it developed.
Is It Worth It?
To be honest, I only downloaded this app because I’m a giant fiend for anything exclusive (see: Clubhouse), but I was pleasantly surprised by it and I truly think it’ll become a staple in my life.
Will it ever overtake Instagram? Absolutely fucking not. But will it be my go-to app for documenting fun nights out with friends and saving memories, rather than thirst traps that temporarily give me a dopamine hit? Absolutely.
There’s no word yet on exactly when Dispo will available to the general public but I have a feeling it’s going to become a house party staple.