Let’s be honest. Why are we on Instagram? Keek? Viddy? Vine?
We just love telling people all about ourselves, don’t we. It feels great sharing silly anecdotes and memories with people, not to mention being able to indirectly say “Yup, guys. I was here. I’ve been there and done that. I bought this and I ate that.” If not those things, it’s to rub it in someone’s face that you beat their high score in Candy Crush or Zombie Tsunami.
People enjoy following each other even if they don’t know each other personally. Celebrities use it as a way to sustain their popularity and hype up their respective TV series’ by communicating directly with fans. Some non-photo or video sharers find the whole process narcissistic and attention-seeking, not to mention an invasion of privacy.
Well, fear not, my non-sharing, private friends! Digital design studio Ustwo has just released their latest app called Rando, which is basically an “anti-social photo-sharing app” according to the company, who unlike most app-developing studios, does not envision building a community within the app. It’s a far cry from the likes of Instagram and the like. Ustwo redefines the concept of photo-sharing with Rando.
How exactly does Rando make photo-sharing anti-social? You take a photo, share it via the app, but you have absolutely no idea who you are sharing it with. You don’t even know who’s sharing photos with you. Yes, this means no tangible recognition of what you’ve posted—no likes, no favorites, no comments, no replies, no thumbs up, no nothing. You must be wondering if a non-liking/favoriting app like Rando is going to last.
Rando’s website contains most of the questions you must be having right now: “What happens when you cannot communicate between users in this social-media world that we’re living in today? Are users still going to be incentivized if they have no way of patting each other on the back with likes? Are you going to be engaged if you can’t follow specific users? And what happens when you are producing something but have no control over who will see it?”
Rando bases its core on the old school days of film, when people would look into a peephole and sometimes, accidentally view someone else’s pictures if the guys back at the lab mixed them up with yours. Rando, as Ustwo calls it, is a gift to users—pieces of your life shared with someone and pieces of theirs shared back to you. I could be Rando-ing you a photo from Italy right now and you could be sharing something from the Sahara to someone else tonight. Talk about random. This is exactly what sets Rando apart from the many apps it rivals in the same category. Ustwo wanted to make something unique, something special to its users.
Rando’s interface is almost similar to every photo-sharing app but expect more minimalism and a cute circular crop for each photo to match their peephole philosophy. There’s a general location included as well, like a photo could say “California” for instance instead of “Sleeping Beauty’s Castle Disneyland Park Anaheim”.
Here’s a little ad Ustwo has come up with for Rando:
Don’t forget that Rando requires you to send a rando in order to get a rando. You’ll have to wait as well, until a rando is made and then sent to you. If you’re worried about those freaky flashers like the ones on Omegle or Chatroulette, Rando allows you to flag it as inappropriate. Yes, I know, it won’t stop that porno from coming out but here’s the thing, the risk seems to be fairly little. Exhibitionists will most likely turn to video-allowing apps and sites to do their thing, also thanks to the no-instant-rando-gratification feature, it is doubtful that they would wait for maybe hours just to see someone else’s thing (if you know what I mean).
Feel free to download Rando, which is only available (and free!) on the iTunes store. It’s a must-download for those who enjoy photography and those who like to appreciate it for free, without any of those randoms on Instagram asking you for a “like back” or a “follow back”.
I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.