My Dispo Beta Experience

One of the many pleasures of being part of tech Twitter is hearing everyone go off about the latest hype app to be released and then scrambling to try and find an invite. Two weeks ago when the Dispo Beta (David Dobrik’s photo sharing app) was launched this was my experience. Unfortunately, since I’m not a tech influencer, I had to wait a day or so until I could find someone who had an invite to spare, but once I was in…I was in.

The Hype

The initial hype and mystery surrounding the application was what made it interesting. Seeing @/bhoka post about it was what brought it to my attention, and then seeing everyone vaguely compliment how marvelous the application was was what led to me seek out an invite.

From what I could gather from the name and the vague tweets I kept seeing I figured it had something to do with a disposable camera, but wasn’t quite sure. Finally after a day or so of reading these tweets I was able to get an invite and explore.

Dispo and All It’s Glory

On first launch of the application it is clear that @/bhoka put a lot of thought into the design. There is an extremely cute animation you only see on first load and the UI is reminiscent of the glow in the dark Buzz Lightyear.

The Features

Aside from the UI being extremely eye catching, the goal of the app is quite wholesome. In the midst of social media and serotonin overload, the Dispo team set out to make an app that forces the user to focus on the moment. You take photos, which you can only see through an extremely tiny rectangle (probably 1/6 the size of the screen), and then let them develop. You can’t see the photos until 9 am the next day, which allows the user to focus on the moment and then forget about it. This is my favorite feature of the app, cause it forces its users to relearn delayed gratification — something not commonly exercised by most millennials.

Another cool feature of the app is you can create “rolls” and have your photos posted to them. These are groups you can invite other people to post in as well. They can be public or private, which creates opportunity for more experimental use of the app.

The Hype

The way the beta worked was you could only get invited if someone had your number. This did two things:

  1. Created a hype factor around the applications launch
  2. Encouraged authentic interaction between users since most people would be connected in some manner

The hype and mutual connection factor allowed for the users to really decide how the app would be used as the majority of the users were all like minded people.

Say Bye To Vanity Metrics

One of the many decisions the Dispo team made to encourage users to focus on interactions and not serotonin overload was removing follower counts. This resulted in people being a lot more willing to follow complete strangers and just interact with others for the sake of the app.

Maxed Out

After a week or so after the application launch, the beta could no longer allow any more users on it. This showed to be more successful than expected. This also rendered 15 of my 20 invites useless. Sad times.

69? Nice

On launch, there were a few Easter eggs hidden in the app. One of them being that the DispoHQ Dispo account was labeled as having exactly 69 million followers when there were nowhere near that many users on the app. This created a friendly and fun loving environment on the app, seeing as even the company wasn’t taking itself too seriously.

Can you say porn?

Yes, you read that right, but it’s not what you’re thinking. When the app first launched there was a user who grabbed the handle @/porn. At first they followed a fair amount of people, which was fine. No one thought anything of it besides, “Damn, I wish I grabbed that handle”

After the app had been around for about a week the account @/porn began following and unfollowing people multiple times. This led people to suspect it was a bot account. Due to this behavior the account was shut down.

The Future of Dispo

Overall, I think Dispo is a great application that allows users to keep friends and family up to date with what’s going on in their lives. The UI makes it fun and playful. The community, so far, is extremely healthy. I think there’s a lot more features the team is probably working on implementing, such as digitally editing your photos in a dark room. This would be a very playful and nostalgic feature. I look forward to seeing how this application will develop and what the future holds for it.

Thanks for reading! I’m an individual who is passionate about UX design, front-end development, AR/VR/XR, and crypto.

If you enjoyed this article and would like to get in touch you can reach me on Twitter, LinkedIn, or my website.



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Alex Stolzoff

Alex Stolzoff

UCSD Alumni.UI/UX Designer & Developer.User Researcher.Drummer.Published Co-Author.Avid User of Periods To Separate Terms Which I Believe Define My Identity.