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Lapse - the invite-only disposable camera

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by Startacus Admin

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The lowdown on Lapse, the London-based startup that's created an innovative and collaborative approach to the world of photo-sharing.

lapse-icon.3063788dAlmost everyone, including our grandparents, has a smartphone these days. And if you have a smartphone, you have a camera better than any we ever took on holiday with us as children, full of filters that only a professional photo editor had access to in the 90s and early 2000s. With this has come a surge in Instagram models - normal people who look good in front of a camera and don’t need to go looking for a modelling agency, etc. instead just posting their photos and watching the likes and subscribes roll in. And watching those likes has become almost an addiction. 

Even for people who don’t make money out of their photos, seeing those numbers tick up is a habit that’s hard to break and takes the place of the joy and fun of simply taking photos. Gone are the days of taking a disposable camera on holiday, snapping away, and not worrying about whether every shot looks magazine-worthy. But perhaps there is a way to combine the two worlds.

London-based startup Lapse has created a photo-sharing app aimed at bringing back that film camera feel of point, click, forget until you get them developed. This allows us to enjoy the moment and take a snap to remember it by, rather than replacing the moment with lengthy fiddling with filters and camera settings and waiting anxiously for the instant likes. 

animated250ms.c593689Lapse allows users to create private chat rooms within the app, each of which has a roll of ‘film’ consisting of 36 shots shared among everyone in the group. Just like an old disposable camera, there is no reviewing the photo once it has been taken, and no editing. Instead, users have no access to those photos until they are ‘developed’ 24 hours after the first one has been taken, which also runs them through an image processing engine that adds the appearance of film to the shots. At that point, they are shown in a montage called a Lapse, and each user in the group can export the full thing or choose which individual photos to export, as well as adding reactions and comments to the photos.

In December, Lapse announced that they had raised €9.7 in a Seed round led by Octopus Ventures and GV. This comes hot on the heels of a September round of £1 million led by Speedinvest, who also participated in this latest round.

With over a million photos taken on the app since its launch in September, it’s already clear that there’s a big market for this kind of app, which not only brings back a nostalgic sense of simpler photo-snapping times, but also helps relieve a lot of stress and anxiety - particularly in younger people - that instant likes and comments and superficial numbers and metrics on social media cause.



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Published on: 5th January 2022

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