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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A new photo-sharing app that spread fast among hip users over the past week mimics a disposable camera on your iPhone — down to the viewfinder.

Driving the news: Dispo, a photo-sharing app co-founded by YouTube star David Dobrik, released a new, invite-only test version of its app less than a week ago and hit TestFlight's 10,000 user limit over the weekend after thousands of downloads in Japan.

How it works: The app takes its concept very seriously. The screen for snapping photos looks like the back of an old-fashioned disposable camera, leaving the user with only one option — turning the flash on and off.

  • There are no other photo editing features.
  • Photos "develop" the next morning at 9 a.m. local time, and users can create various "film rolls" to put them in.
  • Rolls can be shared between users, enabling them to collect photos among friends (or other users) as a social activity. Users can also like and comment on photos.
  • Public shared rolls have also sprung up around various interests, making it possible for users to interact with like-minded people.
  • The original app, currently in the App Store, didn't have these social sharing features.

Between the lines: Dispo's new app is taking users back in time to when photo-sharing apps were simpler and focused on social interactions.

  • Despite starting that way, apps like Instagram and Snapchat have become sophisticated tools for broadcasting polished content.
  • Dobrik, the 24-year-old social media star who got his start on the short video app Vine before moving to YouTube, came up with the idea after seeing his friends using actual disposable cameras at parties (pre-pandemic, of course).

The intrigue: Thanks to the buzz, Dispo is already getting interest from investors and some have even preemptively sent the company term sheets for a Series A funding round, Axios has learned.

What's next: The company is expected to push out the new app in the App Store very soon, and has said it will also release an Android app this year.

Go deeper

Feb 15, 2021 - Technology

Audio takes off during the pandemic

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The mass adoption of wireless headphones and smart devices, combined with people being home all day and not in public spaces, has created a boom for audio — and every big media and tech company is scrambling to claim a piece of it.

Why it matters: The audio boom is milestone for accessibility and a boon to content creators, but it also presents new challenges for content moderation.

Updated 21 mins ago - Science

Blizzard likely to hit New England this weekend as "bomb cyclone" forms

Computer model projection of the precipitation and wind field from the weekend storm in the Northeast. (Earth.nullschool.net)

A powerful blizzard is likely to strike parts of New England and the Mid-Atlantic beginning Friday and lasting into the weekend, with snow totals that are likely to be measured in feet.

The big picture: The joining of weather systems embedded in both the polar, or northern branch, of the jet stream and the southern branch is projected to create a bomb cyclone. Such storms undergo a process known as bombogenesis, with their minimum central air pressure readings plunging at least 24 millibars in 24 hours.

Schumer vows to confirm Breyer replacement "with all deliberate speed"

Chuck Schumer. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer responded Wednesday to reports that Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer will retire, commending his time on the bench and promising to confirm President Biden's nominated replacement "with all deliberate speed."

Why it matters: The opportunity to appoint a new Supreme Court justice will be one of the longest-lasting pieces of Biden's legacy and could energize Democrats ahead of the midterms.

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