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Retro is a super interesting social app that helps you share photos and catch up with long-distance friends, family members and everyone who matters in your life. And today, the company is shipping a major update with a handful of new features. Retro is now also available on Android and in more places following a global rollout.
In case you missed the first episode, Retro is a deeply personal social sharing app co-founded by two former Instagram team members. During their time at Meta, along with other Instagram team members, they took Meta’s social app to the next level with stories and other feature launches.
But Retro isn’t like Instagram. What makes Retro special is that it’s all about sharing memories with your loved ones. You can’t follow influencers, there’s no algorithmic feed and you can’t even capture photos with the app. There’s also no lurking, as everyone is encouraged to participate.
Instead, Retro lets you add your most meaningful photos and videos from your camera roll. You tap, tap, tap, hit send and you’re done. Your small group of friends will receive a notification so that they can check out your latest updates.
Each friend’s post appears as a card. When you open it, you can see all of this week’s content from this specific friend — it’s a sort of weekly story, a curated photo journal from your friends. By default, you can view your friends’ last four weeks of photos if you also share some photos yourself.
“Our daily participation rate is 50%, which means that on any given day, over half of the people that visit Retro also post a photo or video on Retro. Participation rate is so important to us because most platforms, even in their early stages, trend toward power laws where a small percentage of users post for the consumption of the majority of user,” Retro’s co-founder and CEO Nathan Sharp told me in an email.
After a few weeks of usage, when you open your own Retro profile, it becomes a highly curated photo journal of your life’s most memorable moments — small and big. And it brings me to today’s updates.
Image Credits: Retro
From Retro to recaps
Let’s be honest, we take too many photos with our phones. Chances are your camera roll is cluttered with restaurant menus that you sent to your friend who is always late, screenshots of concert tickets and clothes you’re trying to sell on a second-hand marketplace.
That’s why Retro has become this sort of peaceful place for the important things. And the company is taking advantage of that by adding recaps.
As the year is about to end, Retro users can now find a new "Recaps" button on their profile. From there, users can choose a duration — the past year, a specific month, a recent week or all their photos.
After that, Retro gives you a handful of formats for your recap. It can be a collage or a video showing your posts one by one. You can choose to keep a Polaroid-style border or make it fullscreen.
So what are you supposed to do with these recaps? You can send them to your loved ones, of course! These recaps are meant to be shared in your favorite group messaging app. You can also use them as an Instagram or Snapchat story.
Retro also added a new button across the app in the recaps or in individual photo posts. You can now send photos as good old postcards — yes, printed postcards with a few words on the back.
This feature will be perfect for parents who always get requests to send photos of their kids. They are printed by a partner in the U.S. Right now, you can send postcards for free and the feature is available globally. So it’s going to be interesting to see if people start talking about Retro during the holidays because of these postcards.
Image Credits: Retro