This weekend I started playing with Rando, an app that is unlike any other I’ve used before. Rando is a photo app that has users send and receive circular photos.
I enjoy the social web a lot, and sharing content I’ve created or discovered with other people is something I value highly, but there’s a twist here that I wouldn’t normally embrace. Rando shifts from sharing to gifting by having senders and recipients not know anything more about each other than location. Recipients of photos are randomly selected among those who have previously sent out a photo. For each photo sent, a single photo is received. This creates the potential for delightful or boring photos, but more often than not I enjoyed finding small snapshots from the lives of people across the world.
There is an implied social contract to only send interesting or beautiful photos. I found myself having an increasing standard for the shots I would line up in the strange circular view the app presented. I think a lot of users drift in that way too, and the surprising photos I’ve received have left me very engaged in an ephemeral process.
Photos a user takes will be saved to the phone, and can be manipulated like any other photos, but received ones can’t be imported or shared as easily. Still, the limitations imposed by Rando add to the experience by creating a simple and fun way to share photography.
Introducing Rando—an app where serendipity rules the day and users send and receive random photos to and from random people all over the world.
Rando is an experimental photo exchange platform for people who like photography. A rando is an image taken and sent by you anonymously to somebody completely random somewhere else in the world.
A rando must be sent for one to be received. It’s about gifting rather than sharing.
You will never know who received the rando, they will never know who sent it.
You will know the location of where it landed, the receiver will know where in the world it was taken.
Users build their rando collection, collating unique cultural sights from around the world.
We deliberately haven’t incorporated social features into the application.
No likes, no comments, no direct communication.
Just Rando. An appreciation of fine photography.