Retro: everything you need to know about this new social medium

The world of social media is really messed up, now that Twitter is making some strange leaps and Instagram has introduced its app Threads (only not yet in Europe). There are now many different social media platforms and it really takes a look: which do you choose? Instagram alternatives are especially often born, such as BeReal and Threads, but also Retro. This is everything you need to know about the new social medium Retro.


Retro was started by Lone Palm Labs, an incubator with four employees. That’s not much, but they employ Nathan Sharp, who was director of product management at Meta for many years. There are more employees who have worked for Meta: Ryan Olson of Retro once worked for Instagram.

Retro is all about photos, not so much about videos (which Instagram is increasingly fond of). It’s also about your real friends. The idea is that you start with a private account of which people always have to request whether they can follow you. The nice thing is that someone has to share photos from their own gallery before they can access other people’s photos. You can upload videos, by the way, but not longer than a minute.


It’s an app with a diary-like slant, meaning your albums are grouped by week. Photos older than four weeks will be blocked. You can just view them, but friends who want access must request a key to view them. That’s nice, because Retro doesn’t use very polished photos. There are not even filters to use: what you see is real (unless someone has put a filter on their phone camera. The idea is mainly that it is not about the beautiful pictures and the many followers, but about a little more authenticity and your real friends. Actually a bit like BeReal, but then you can post as much as you want. And: everything can be viewed without ads.

The question is whether Retro will catch on and if so, for how long. BeReal seemed like a brilliant idea, but it lost millions of users in a few months. It still exists, but it has thinned out considerably. The gentlemen say it’s a kind of dance floor. Instagram is the pro, but really, we all just want to let loose with our friends at a wedding. Both have to do with something social, but in a completely different way. The audience is different. But with so many apps to choose from, the question is whether Retro will reach its audience. In any case, it only reaches iPhone users so far, because the app is not yet available on Android.

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