Disposable Camera App Lapse Tops Charts By Making Users Invite Friends

Disposable camera app Lapse has soared to the number one spot in the U.S. Apple’s App Store charts by forcing users to invite their friends.

A disposable camera app called “Lapse” has soared to take the number one spot in the U.S. on Apple’s App Store charts — by reportedly forcing users to invite their friends.

Lapse is a photo app that “turns your phone into a disposable camera” like Later Cam and Dispo. The photos remain a mystery until Lapse “develops” the user’s images at a random point. Then, users can share their photos to their “Friends Feed” on the app and curate images into albums.

In the last month, Lapse has climbed to the top of the U.S. App Store charts — reportedly rising from number 118 to the number one spot.

According to a report by TechCrunch on Tuesday, some critics are suggesting that Lapse’s surge in popularity has been achieved by requiring their users to invite others to use the disposable camera app.

A Disposable Camera App That Requires Users to Invite Friends

Growth-hacking techniques are common now — with some apps limiting access and invites to boost the sense of exclusivity around the platform.

But TechCrunch reports that Lapse is doing something different with its invites. Instead of just gating its app to only those with an invite, Lapse actually requires users to invite friends in order to start using its disposable camera platform.

According to the publication, Lapse verifies users with a phone number, asks for permission to their contacts as well as their camera, and then forces them to add at least five friends before they can even use Lapse.

A pop-up in the Lapse app explains that a user has to send out invites as Lapse only works with friends and that their invites will give their friends early access to the disposable camera platform.

Some social media users dubbed the disposable camera app’s strategy as a “pyramid scheme.” However, Lapse co-founder Dan Silverton claims that 100% of the app’s recent growth is organic.

“Our onboarding process is divisive, there are a few detractors but also many fans,” Lapse co-founder tells TechCrunch.

“We are top of the charts because Lapse is resonating with young people, who are sharing millions of photos per day in our app. They are exhausted by existing photo-sharing apps and Lapse is a way for them to live in the moment and share memories pressure-free.”

Image credits: Header photo via Lapse.