Over the weekend we had a bit of a play with the new iPhone photo sharing app Rando, produced by digital design studio Ustwo as an exercise in “just fucking doing it” – getting something up and running in super quick time.
The app is a stripped back from of photosharing – when you take a shot, it is automatically cropped within a circle. You can’t edit your shot, can’t add any filters, can’t name it nor tag it. You can’t like anyone elses shots, can’t follow any users, can’t set up a profile.
If you’re happy with the picture you’ve taken, you upload it, and it is sent at random to one other user of the app. They aren’t told any information about you or the image, other than being shown roughly where it was taken (so they’ll know which city you’re in, but nothing more).
Once you’ve sent a shot, you are sent a shot from someone else in return – you give and you receive.
It’s a peculiar experience, and initially at least, oddly addictive. You keep hoping that the next shot that loads up will be something unexpected, or beautiful, or funny. Or a glimpse into a life entirely different from your own. And there’s a vague feeling that you should try to make your own shots as interesting as possible. Give something good and karma dictates that you’ll get something good in return.
From a creative point of view, the circular format is really refreshing, forcing you to depart from standard rectangular compositions.
Interestingly, given the voyeuristic / exhibitionist format, it so far doesn’t seem to have descended into an endless stream of porn. Perhaps the folks at ustwo are just policing it carefully for now.
Anyway. Sort of pointless. Sort of fun.