Recently, I discovered Rando, a photo sharing app for Android and iOS that’s pretty much the opposite of every other app in that category. With Rando, you don’t build a social network of fellow photographers, nor are there buttons to like, share or retweet photos. All you do is take pictures, and get pictures in return. You images are each delivered to a single random stranger, and the ones you get in return are from other random strangers. And somehow, all this randomness is fun.
One of my teachers in art school told me that sometimes it’s better to intrigue than to inform. And this app is certainly intriguing. Don’t expect to fully understand all the images you get, prepare to be fascinated by some of them. And be bored with most of them. Rando is only as good as it’s members, and its success will depend heavily on their ability to take interesting pictures. So far, the ones I received have been mixed bag, but – in all honesty – the same goes for the randos I’ve sent out myself.
The app’s design is wonderfully minimalist and a little quirky, but it’s missing a couple of features I think are essential. Primarily, there’s no history of sent randos and where they landed. The app displays this info in notifications, but who really ever reads those? I’ve emailed the Rando team, and they indicated they’re working on adding a new feature that fixes this.
But even in its current form, Rando is worth checking out. Install it, send out some Randos and see whether the incoming images – that someone took just for you – make it worth your while.