Created by LA-based entrepreneur David Dobrik, Dispo started out as invite-only and launched beta testing in late February before rolling out the real thing on Wednesday.
Dispo vs Instagram
According to Tim Hill, co-founder and CEO of social media analytics company Social Status, Dispo is going after the Instagram audience, i.e. teens to thirties, and he believes this demographic will buy into this novel approach of sharing photos.
“The launch of Dispo reminds me a lot of when Instagram launched over 10 years ago. Excitement over the simple act of taking photos isn’t something people have probably felt in a long time. But that’s exactly what you get with Dispo,” Hill said.
“The genius part of this is the sharing experience. That moment at 9am the next day when your photos from yesterday are ‘developed’ is a key moment when users will share those photos or rolls with friends. Instagram and other apps don’t have a prompting mechanism to remind users to share after the creation of content.”
Superdry marketing manager Matthew Iozzi called it a “direct challenge to the ‘instantaneous’ culture of social media”.
“Dispo offers the potential for brands to generate ‘hype’ in a very real and tangible form. Forcing users to wait for content of collections and events is something I believe several brands will jump at the opportunity to get on,” he said.
What’s in it for brands?
Hill believes beauty and fashion brands will be ‘natural fits’ for Dispo, but said service retail, QSR, bars, pubs and clubs could all stand to benefit.
“I think any brands and industry that can run events and invite customers to physical locations will benefit from Dispo. This is potentially where bricks-and-mortar retail has the edge over pure e-commerce because they have the real-world infrastructure already set up,” he said.
The value for brands appears to be in marketing and branding rather than advertising at this point, with user-generated content (UGC) at the forefront.
“Dispo will be a key UGC channel and brands will be able to leverage this well in the real world by inviting customers, advocates and creators to exclusive events where they can create content and publish it the next day. What we’ve already seen with consumer brands on Snapchat and TikTok has been an almost exclusive use of UGC and/or extensive collaborations with creators. Dispo will be no different,” Hill said.
However Shuey Shujab, CEO of digital marketing agency Whitehat, doesn’t see brands jumping on the bandwagon just yet.
“Not having the ability to edit and control the end image may put brands off, as well as influencers. There are also limited insights available – you can only see likes and comments, as opposed to the full suite of metrics available through Instagram,” he said.
“It’s really only designed for individuals to share authentic moments with their friends. But no doubt they’ll need to decide how to monetise the app down the track, so it’s very possible they’ll continue to develop and evolve Dispo so that it eventually incorporates some brand-friendly features in the future.”
Shujab and Hill are also divided on whether the app has the potential to dethrone Instagram.
Shujab believes there will be a niche market for this app, particularly younger generations, and said it’s likely to become very popular. But taking on Instagram? He says, “Most likely not.”
According to Hill, Instagram faces a number of challenges right now. Its biggest rival, TikTok, recently surpassed 4 million users in Australia, and its much-loved Stories feature is now commonplace on other apps.
“Instagram Reels has had a rocky but solid start and is also up against Snapchat’s new Spotlight feature and American TikTok clone, Triller. IGTV has been struggling to win the hearts and eyes off YouTube. Instagram Stories is undoubtedly the jewel in Instagram’s crown but there’s solid competition from the latest ephemeral media formats launched by Twitter with their Fleets format and LinkedIn finally launching LinkedIn Stories last year,” he said.
“If there was ever a time to take on the Instagram beast on their home turf of photo-sharing, it would be now.”