Remember disposable cameras? Well, they’re making a comeback, but this time, it’s all online. It’s called the Dispo app.
Dispo is essentially the disposable camera for the modern crowd. It’s fun, it’s authentic, and it’s causing a buzz around the internet. In fact, according to Axios, it is already valued at over $200 million and has raised over $20 million in funding.
Below, I break down everything you need to know about Dispo, who’s on the app, and how you can use it for your digital marketing efforts.
What Is the Dispo App?
Dispo is an iOS app founded by David Dobrik, a social media personality. He founded the app back in 2019 under the name “David’s Disposables” but later rebranded it to the catchier “Dispo.”
The app lets you take unfiltered photos and post them online, much like how we used disposable cameras and polaroids back in the day. It’s this rawness that separates Dispo from similar apps like Instagram.
Since it’s still in beta testing, it’s only available for iOS right now, and only individuals with an invite can use the app.
How does Dispo work, though? Let’s check it out.
How Does the Dispo App Work?
If there’s one way to describe Dispo, it’s this: simplicity.
All you do is take a picture and wait until 9 a.m. the next day for it to “develop” and appear on the app. Dispo’s all about living in the moment, so you can’t upload pics from your camera roll or edit your photos.
There’s a flash dial, and you can flip between the front and back camera, but it’s a basic, no-frills app. That said, the interface is colorful, fun, and simple to use. If you’re looking for a little nostalgia, Dispo could be great!
A word of warning: Some Android apps look like Dispo, but they’re not the “real” thing.
Who is Using Dispo?
Dispo is geared towards millennials and Gen Z, so we’re talking users aged 6 to 40.
That’s a pretty broad age bracket, but they’re all looking for the same two things: retro vibes and authenticity.
The upshot? You might want to check out Dispo if you’re targeting these demographics.
How Do I Get an Invitation to the Dispo App?
Well, the easiest thing to do is simply wait until the app’s rolled out to a wider audience. However, if you’re interested in trying the app before it’s officially released, you have a few options.
Buy It Online
If you comb sites like eBay, you’ll find Dispo invites for sale. Just make sure the seller is legit before you part with your cash.
Another platform where users are selling Dispo invites is Buy Me a Coffee. It’s a simple premise: Buy the seller a few coffees and receive an invite in exchange. You’ll also receive extra invites so you can pass along the “chain.”
Should you pay for a Dispo invite? The choice is yours, but remember that it’s not an exclusive app. It’s only limited right now because it’s still in the testing stage. If you hold out a little longer, you might get the chance to join for free.
Use Your Network
You don’t need to pay for an early Dispo invitation if you know people already using the app.
If anyone in your network mentions using Dispo, ask them how they’re liking the app and invite them to send an extra invitation your way. Sure, there’s no guarantee they’ll pass it along, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
Don’t know anyone on the app? Check out platforms like Reddit, where people may offer extra invites to the wider community.
There’s no reason you can’t pitch yourself to Dispo and ask for early access.
DM the team on Twitter or Instagram and see what happens. They might be more likely to honor your request if you agree to review the app or help generate some buzz around it.
How Can Brands and Marketers Use Dispo?
Dispo’s great for brands and marketers who want to build an authentic brand presence across social media.
You can’t use Dispo to advertise the same way you promote on other apps. Not only does heavy advertising go against the app’s “be yourself” guidelines, but it’s just not how the app works. It’s purely photography-based.
Focus more on you, the person behind the brand, rather than your company.
Use Dispo to learn more about your target demographics instead of trying to solely sell to them.
There’s a push towards keeping Dispo free from the marketing content and brand advertising we see elsewhere. With this in mind, here are three ways to get the most from the app as a marketing tool:
Choose a Good Dispo Username
Social apps like Dispo are all about first impressions. What makes a good username on the app, though? Well, there aren’t any hard or fast rules, but here are some guidelines:
Keep it relevant. Make sure people can easily recognize your brand from your username.
Don’t use soliciting language. For example, avoid phrases like “looking for clients” or “discount codes here,” or you risk coming across too salesy.
There’s no reason you can’t use your company name or slogan, especially if it’s something cool, unique, and catchy. Remember, Dispo is all about having fun and not taking yourself seriously, so whatever you do, reflect this in your username.
Create Dispo Photo “Rolls”
Dispo photo “Rolls” is a pretty unique feature. Essentially, it allows multiple users to add photos to the same Roll (or album). It’s a way to meet new people, engage with your audience, and promote yourself as a collaborative, user-focused brand.
First, tap the bar at the bottom to start a new Roll.
Next, choose a name for your Roll and decide if it’s public or private. Just so you’re aware, anyone can see a public Roll, and you can open it up so people can add to it.
Once you’re done, create your Roll and start snapping pics!
Think of Rolls like passing a disposable camera around an event. You’re all adding pictures to the same album, making for a fun, collaborative experience for everyone.
Be Yourself on Dispo
If there’s one thing people love, it’s authenticity. Don’t believe me? Some stats might change your mind:
According to Stackla, 86 percent of consumers value authenticity when choosing brands.
At the same time, around 57 percent of buyers think brands lack authenticity.
As we can see from data presented by CNBC, authenticity matters to Gen Z. Of those studied, 67 percent felt like someone is cool if they stay true to who they are.
Since Gen Z are among the people most likely to use social apps like Dispo, their opinion counts.
If you’re still not convinced, let me draw your attention to Dispo’s community guidelines. Everyone using the app must be “real” at all times…fakers won’t cut it.
In other words, don’t try to curate an inauthentic brand message on Dispo, even if you think it might help you stand out. It’s always good practice to be authentic, both on the app and throughout marketing in general.
With all this in mind, then, how do you showcase your best self on Dispo?
Here are some tips:
Steer clear of unsolicited advertisements. They go against the spirit of the app.
Don’t just talk about your business on Dispo. Have fun with the app and show off what makes you and your team unique.
Be human. Engage with your audience, post frequently, and put your best self forward at all times.
Invite People to Join Dispo
Don’t forget to expand your network. Otherwise, you won’t get the most out of the app. Luckily, once you’re on Dispo, it’s quick and easy to send out app invites.
First, jump to the settings menu and tap the “Invite” option.
Next, scroll through your contact list and choose who you want to invite. You only get about 20 invites when you first join, and it’s not clear when (or if) you’ll be offered more invites. In other words, use them wisely!
Tap a contact and send them a message. You can use the default message or send a customized invite.
Finally, you’ll receive a notification if someone accepts your invitation.
The app works best if you’re sharing pics with people, so the more invites you send out, the better.
What Do I Do While I Wait for My Dispo Invite?
While you wait for an invite (and let’s face it, you could wait a while), focus your attention on other social media apps and marketing strategies.
OK, so it’s not the most versatile app out there, but the Dispo app might still be worth serious consideration if you’re targeting a millennial audience. Once you’re on the app, it’s easy to send out marketing pics to support your ad campaigns, and the “photo roll” feature can help you develop your brand story.
All that said, it’s still a new app. It’s unclear how many people will download it, and we don’t know how actively people will engage with the platform. However, if you’re lucky enough to receive an invite (or source one out), it’s worth giving a try.