More than a dozen apps in the photo category of Apple’s App Store appropriate the shoddy, snapshot esthetics of single-use, or disposable, cameras.
The newest joining this niche category two weeks ago features nothing unique. Yet it quickly surpassed 1 million downloads because the popular internet celebrity behind the app told followers to “check out my new app.”
David Dobrik, considered social media’s top influencer among teens by many observers, leveraged a popular Instagram feed populated exclusively with disposable camera shots of his friends into the app David’s Disposable.
It briefly was the top download on the App Store and currently sits at No. 14 for popular free apps, according to the analytics firm App Annie.
David’s Disposable is no throw-away app
The app turns the iPhone or iPad screen into the back of a disposable camera, a green color that is familiar to users of Fuji film.
Forget instant gratification. This app goes old-school. The selfie camera is off and the app doesn’t let you see your shots until 9 a.m. the next day. From there, you can order prints directly through the app.
It’s free to download and there are in-app purchases for additional features. Given Dobrik’s popularity, he has developed yet another ad-driven revenue source.
Dobrik was one of the early stars of the now-defunct video platform, Vine. He now has three different channels on YouTube. In a profile last year, The Verge said Dobrik was among the first creators to make vlogging work on YouTube.
His posts feature a cast of reoccurring characters, friends and other influencers known as “The Vlog Squad” hanging out, playing pranks and acting out scripted bits.
Dobrik, 23, has some 15 million subscribers and had the fifth-most views on YouTube last year with 2.4 billion. His popularity among teens has landed him television and movie work, a spot in People magazine as 2019’s “Sexiest Heartthrob,” and made him a much sought-after advertising spokesperson.
Last June, he started an Instagram feed of his disposable camera photos (shirtless bros and friends flipping a middle finger to the camera are reoccurring themes) and he quickly amassed 3 million followers.