In today’s social media landscape, platforms often feel cluttered with advertisements and sponsored content, and the personalized connections we crave often take a backseat. Remember BeReal? It promised to fix these issues but ultimately floundered. Despite this cautionary tale, developers keep striving to reshape our online interactions, and that’s where Lapse comes in.

Lapse sets itself apart as “the invite-only disposable camera.” Snap a photo (referred to as a “snap”), send it to the “darkroom” for “development,” and at an unspecified time later in the day, receive a notification when your photo is ready. Then, behold your photo transformed by Lapse’s grainy, vintage filter. You decide whether to share the photo in your gallery or store it away.

By forgoing algorithmic feeds, Lapse aims for a more personal and chronological experience. Your snaps live on your profile or “Journal,” where you can customize with music, a carousel of select images, your zodiac sign, and emojis. Friends can react to your snaps or share a “vibe” using a range of pre-selected randomized emojis. It’s truly an amalgamation of different platforms, combining features from Snapchat, Dispo, and Instagram, while also maintaining the low-pressure vibes of BeReal.

While Lapse isn’t entirely new—originally launched in 2021 as a collaborative disposable camera roll app—it received a significant update in June, rebranding itself as a traditional social media platform. The revamp included the ability for users to share “developed” photos and organize them into monthly “memories” and albums. The platform garnered significant attention, securing $11 million in seed round funding at its launch.

To gain access, new users must invite friends via text message before they can start using it, a strategy that propelled Lapse to the top of the charts in the App Store. However, this growth hack has its skeptics, with some users feeling cautious about the platform’s onboarding tactics. Despite the mixed reception, the co-founders defend their approach, emphasizing the app’s resonance with young people and its nostalgic appeal following the disposable camera trend.

With its unique features, Lapse managed to encourage engagement, consolidation of posts into monthly albums, and a nourishing community, leaving some users hooked. Despite the initial excitement, the true test of its longevity remains to be seen. Will Lapse stand the test of time?

Contributor: Elena Cavender – Tech Reporter and Gen Z Expert at Mashable, covering TikTok and digital trends. She holds a BA in American History from UC Berkeley. Connect with Elena via email at [email protected] or follow her @ecaviar_.


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