Apr 11 AT 4:24 PM Dustin Earley 23 Comments

I can’t get enough of Rando, the unique anonymous photo sharing app by ustwo


Nearly every photography app I can possibly think of always comes back to one thing: social. No one shares just to share. It’s all about seeing people like your photos, getting followers, and expanding your footprint on the Internet. I get the value in services like Instagram, where all of your photos are tracked and stuffed into discovery feeds, but I’ve always been intrigued by the things people do when they aren’t being watched. Or when there’s no repercussions for their actions. A new app called Rando lets me live out a small piece of this wonder.

Developed by the folks who brought you the game Whale Trail, Rando is an anonymous photo sharing app where you have to share photos, in order to get photos. You do have to make an account to use the service, but none of the pictures you receive have any information attached, save for where they were taken. You can’t like or favorite the photos you receive (you can mark them inappropriate, though who would do that, really). You can’t follow anyone. It’s pure and simple. That’s really all there is to it. I kept thinking, “There has to be more to it.” I thought maybe I was missing something. But the more I explored, and the less I found, the more I began to like Rando.

Let me take you through the process of using Rando. Everything is circle shaped; the app icon, the upload indicator and the photos themselves, all circles. It looks really neat and kind of adds to the mystery. Anyway, continuing on, when you first sign in to Rando, you are greeted with a red circle. Press the circle to take a photograph. You can’t use the gallery here, you can only use freshly taken photographs. After you take a photo, it’s uploaded to Rando, and you wait to receive a photo. The main landing page of Rando is a feed of photos you’ve received in exchange for the photos you’ve sent out. You can tap these photos once to see where they were taken, or double tap to delete from your feed or mark inappropriate.

So far, I’ve received photos ranging from blurry brown nothings, to someone’s retainer, to a stack of women’s clothing. They’ve come from as close as Texas and California, and from as far as Russia. Every spare moment I have, I find myself uploading something to Rando. And every time, I wonder who will get it, and what they will think. Rando probably won’t win any awards or much notoriety for being the hot new photo sharing app of the moment, but much like the photos you send in Rando itself, it doesn’t need to.

Sifting through handfuls of photographs of new shoes, dinner plates, cats and babies, I used to wonder what people would share if they weren’t trying to show off to friends and family, or hunting for likes and followers. With Rando, I feel like I finally know.


Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • Co1e

    Sounds interesting. Just hope it doesn’t get overrun with trouser snakes.

  • Thomas Biard

    You got me interested. I’m getting it now. However as Co1e said….it could just be the perfect outlet for Voyeurs….just saying. I’ll use it until i see too many wiggle worms.

    • irishrally

      Randy on Rando

  • SGB101

    What an inexplicably excellent application.

    Just fired a few off, and got a few back. I think I’ll be playing with this tomorrow.

  • irishrally

    Now, this I might actually try. Still waiting for that Facebook thing fad to die out …

  • Ismael J Rodriguez

    Sounds a lot like “A World of Photo”? Anyone try both and have an opinion?

    • http://flavors.me/clschnei clschnei

      I used to play this all the time. Looking to maybe try this out since WOP hasn’t been updated in quite a long time.

  • Esteban

    The thing I dislike is the lack of an ability to use a previously taken picture.

    • SGB101

      I think it’s meant to be spontaneous

  • Ryan Gails

    So, I just got this. Seems interesting! For some reason, it’s fun to get random pics and only know WHERE they are from instead of who they are from.

  • halo0

    is there no way to change the notification sound?

    • halo0

      FYI, there’s not. The developer’s solution is to disable notifications for the app globally. :/

  • Oscar P, disabled murderer and blade gunner

    Instagram and EyeEm absolutely smoke this trash app!

  • donger

    Interesting app.

  • Stella

    Now, this is an app I can get behind. It’s very low maintenance and I like the spontaneity factor. It also has a lovely design UI. Thanks for the review.

  • benjclyde

    Been using this since this morning, something nice about it. Doesn’t feel as stilted as Instagram, a bit simpler almost.

  • Florida

    I love this app! But I try very hard to take great and witty photos and am disappointed with really terrible stuff. But I do get a gem every 10th one….like a train station in Europe or a beautiful outdoor scenery in Singapore! That is fantastic. Sometimes, people smile in the cameras! I love the Europeans…they are the best. The photos from Americans leave much to be desired. Sorry my fellow Americans, but you need to get creative!

  • Tangent

    Sounds interesting enough to give it a try, but I imagine it’ll be loads and loads of garbage pics taken for the sole purpose of receiving interesting ones…

  • rob

    share your rando’s here


  • Lindsay

    Good post Dustin. I personally find it a really interesting concept because it focuses on the value of the content to become a success, rather than the social reaction element/sharing that many others rely on. Like you say, it means that images should really reflect that great content purpose rather than just watching it get more likes. Very spontaneous too. My colleague actually wrote about her experience with it recently, which you may find interesting http://ow.ly/kikoG

  • Donghyeok Kang

    I like Rando. But sometimes it’s boring to wait to receive a new rando.
    Try Contemplr. I can immediately receive a new random photo, toss it to another user, and reply to its owner. Have fun.

  • Sirena

    I understand the feeling, I also became addicted to it.
    I love to see what others are doing, seeing, eating, everything!

    Here is a small collection of shots I sent and received;

  • Dany

    Why can’t I receive other people location?