Dispo, David Dobrik’s Photo-Sharing App, Is Taking Off

Dispo, a new photo-sharing app that mimics the experience of using a disposable camera, is taking off. People are clamoring for invites to test the beta version. Early adopters are praising its social features. And investors are betting big on its future.

In the app, users frame photographs through a small rectangular viewfinder. There are no editing tools or captions; when the images “develop” — i.e. show up on your phone at 9 a.m. the next day — you get what you get. Multiple people can take photos on the same roll, as might happen with a real disposable camera at a party.

“When I used to go to parties with my friends, they would have disposable cameras all throughout the house, and they’d urge people to take pictures throughout the night,” said David Dobrik, a YouTube star and a founder of the app. “In the morning, they’d collect all the cameras and look back at the footage and be like, ‘What happened last night?’” (He used an expletive for emphasis.)

He and his friends loved the serendipity of scrolling through fleeting and forgotten moments. “It would be like the ending of ‘The Hangover’ every morning,” Mr. Dobrik, 24, said. He started posting his developed photographs on a dedicated Instagram account in June 2019, and quickly racked up millions of followers. Other influencers and celebrities, including Tana Mongeau and Gigi Hadid, soon started their own “disposable” accounts; their fans followed suit.

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