Lapse app makes candid photo dumping cool again

Buying a second-hand vintage camera can be a risky investment, which is probably why people turn to risk-free film camera apps for taking and editing snapshots as an alternative. While there are many options for converting your photos into Polaroids, one app currently seems to stand out among the rest. It's called "Lapse," and the photo editor will become your new favorite social media platform—if you're invited.

What is a dead application?

The app was originally called Journal by Lapse when it was launched in 2021, and was renamed Lapse in August 2023 As of September 26, it ranked No. 1 on the Apple App Store Photo and Video charts. Photo-based social media apps are nothing new: Instagram is still popular, and although we don't hear much from VSCO Girls anymore, the app still ranks No. 25 on the Apple App Store's Photos and Videos chart .

What makes Lapse different from other software, though, is that you won't be able to access your photos until at least one to three hours after they were taken. The idea is to wait like you have a real disposable camera, so you can spend less time trying to get the perfect photo and more time living in the moment. According to a 2021 press release, the photos are designed to create "spontaneous and authentic moments" — something that other carefully curated social media apps sometimes fail to do.

It's not every day that you find a new social media platform, but considering Lapse has an average rating of 4.8 stars and nearly 20,000 reviews on the Apple Store, it's fair to say it's worth paying attention to right now. One Apple App Store reviewer wrote that they wanted Lapse to be "the next social media app," while another praised the app's unique way of handling social media. "I like to get away from the media, indulge in daily life and explore myself," the commenter wrote. "This app allows you to have fun with your phone and do just that."

Lapse is free to download in the App Store, and you must be 12 years or older to join.

How to get an invitation to the Lapse app

If you want to create an account, you'll have to find someone who already has the app before you can join. That's because Lapse is invitation-only, which is why you'll be asked to invite five people from your contact list before setting up your profile. Once you've done this, you'll need to add at least eight people as friends to create a group chat.

The app initially launched with 20,000 beta testers and then attracted 150,000 members who pre-installed the app and then allowed them to invite 5 users each, which would explain its position on the App Store charts today. You may remember that the Clubhouse app was invite-only when it launched in 2020, but eventually ditched that model in 2021. So who knows - if you can't get an invite now, you might still be able to use the app later.

How to use the Lase app

Unlike other apps like Instagram and TikTok, Lapse only allows you to post for friends, not followers. Each group chat gets a "roll" of 36 photos, available to anyone in the group, and 24 hours after the first photo is taken, the group chat is updated with an animated montage (aptly called "expiration"). "Flush" the volume in chat. From there, everyone in the chat can react, comment, save or export photos directly in the thread, just like you text each other. But keep in mind that photos are saved with a watermark at the bottom of the image, which may obscure the subject of the snap. By the way, the app is still in beta, so expect some issues.

Lapse and BeReal

Lapse doesn't let you view, retake, or edit photos, a detail that feels very BeReal-inspired. That said, the photos are processed to look like they were taken with a real disposable camera—you just don't have to do any editing yourself. You'll also have an automatic photo dump compiled for your profile each month so you can relive your favorite memories with your friends. The biggest difference between these apps, though, is the group chat feature, which basically combines your feed and comments sections in one place.

If you're not already attracted to new social media platforms, you might want to avoid them altogether. According to a Reddit post on r/apps, deleting your account will prevent you from creating another account with the same phone number. Yes, you only get one chance - take it.