The word Vero has been thrown around a lot on social media in the past few weeks, but how much do you really know about Vero?
Is it really the Instagram killer that it’s being made out to be? Why are Influencers and artists such as photographers moving to Vero? How does the platform work, and are the rumours about Vero having a subscription fee true? Here is all you need to know about Vero, a (relatively) new social media platform (we haven’t had one for a long time now).
First off, the Vero app shot up on the Google Play Store and the iOS App Store to become the top-ranked app last week, and while the app is still in the Beta mode, there is a lot of chatter around it. The app is prone to crashing (a lot), but it has developed a sufficient amount of intrigue around it for millions of people to give it a shot.
More than 500,000 users in 24 hours will do that to your servers. That’s just on iOS and only in the United States.
Needless to say, the servers being overloaded has caused problems for the company and if you wish to check out the hottest new social media platform on the horizon, we have all the information you need to know about Vero.
What is Vero?
Vero is a new social media platform, accompanied by the tagline, True Social, meaning the platform intends to be less ‘Media’, more social as the company website indicates.
Backed by Lebanese billionaire Ayman Hariri, who began to detest the way social media functions, with it’s lack of general privacy and the way people behave on social media which led him to create Vero.
Debuting on the scene in 2015, Vero had a quiet few years until recently and I personally had merely known of it’s existence due to one of Vero’s most popular users, filmmaker Zack Snyder. Not present on any other social media platforms, Snyder has been known to share behind-the-scenes footage from his high profile films, Batman Vs Superman: Dawn Of Justice, Wonder Woman (he was an Executive Producer) and Justice League on Vero.
Although I never felt compelled to check it out, it’s recent surge in popularity led me to check it out. The Vero app is still in Beta phase, and crashes A LOT but upon fixing the bugs and other issues, could gain more prominence.
From an abysmal 600,000 lifetime downloads since it’s existence, Vero’s newfound popularity has taken it to 500,000 downloads in 24 hours on iOS, in the United States only!
It feels like it has been inspired by the best of all platforms, combined with the things people have been asking from social media platforms, to create one user-pleasing entity.
Over the past couple of weeks, a lot of Instagram accounts I follow such as photographers, artists and fan pages that curate themed content, have begun to join Vero. Not only are they moving, but are also encouraging their Instagram followers to join them on the platform, highlighting it’s positive attribute which brings us to the subject of…
What’s so different about Vero?
As I mentioned earlier, Vero contains a lot of features that already exist on platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and at the same time, it has also incorporated some features that users have been begging for. Let us take a look at what the Vero UI looks like.
It has a noticeably darker theme as compared to the other social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, and Twitter which offers an option to switch themes but goes with the brighter one as default.
Instagram Influencers and artists have been growing increasingly frustrated about its algorithm over the past few months, owing to their reach and engagement getting significantly dwindled. Their search for greener pastures has led them to Vero, which has maintained the reverse chronological feed sorting.
Instagram users I personally follow such as Chase Teron, Alex Ross, Everything DC Comics and a whole lot of other Instagram users have begun to direct their fans and followers to join them on Vero.
This indicates two things,
1. Either these accounts genuinely believe Vero is the future, and a more suitable account for people like them,
2. Vero is orchestrating a covert gratification operation for them to bring more users to their platform.
Although, seeing as how they are facing difficulty with the large numbers of users joining, it could be said they had not anticipated this mass exodus from Instagram to their platform.
How is Vero different from other social media platforms?
The first major distinction between Vero and other platforms like Facebook and Instagram is the reverse chronologically sorted Feed that makes ‘time of posting’ a key factor when it comes to the discoverability of content.
More focus on privacy: Vero offers way more privacy than other social media platforms by letting you categorize the people you interact with, into four different categories.
Close Friends, Friends, Acquaintances and Followers.
While Instagram and Twitter allow nothing like it, Facebook allows three broad privacy settings i.e. Friends, Public and Custom.
Vero makes things easier by giving you four pre-determined categories you can segregate your followers into. (Don’t worry it does not notify them about it.)
NO DATA MINING. NO ADS. The reason behind Vero owner Ayman Hariri starting the company was the lack of privacy, not just among people but also when it comes to advertisers.
Intrusive and creepy Ads have annoyed more than a few social media users but since there was no alternative, people had to learn to live with it, or practice abstinence.
With no Ads, one wonders, how would they make money once they scale?
Yes there is talk of subscription fees and those talks have come straight from Ayman Hariri, and according to CNBC, there will be a subscription fee eventually but wont be a pocket pincher as the annual subscription will only amount to the price of a couple of cups of coffee.
That does not sound like much if I can escape ads and the labyrinth of retargeting with no products being shoved in my face while I browse my Feed.
So is Vero really the Instagram killer that people are making it out to be?
Not really, no.
The thing is, there have been numerous apps that gained prominence in the past few years, albeit for a short period of time and once the ‘trending teflon’ begins to wear off, so does their popularity. Although if there is one app that can cross that nearly impossible threshold, it’s Vero.
Unless Instagram notices the threat, and the mass exodus of some of it’s most loyal users, Vero could eat away a significant amount of its user base. Co-existence could also be foreseen since their revenue models are different, and Vero being subscription based, is not going to be popular among the teenagers.
Facebook does not do the co-existing thing well and being the ambitious businessman that Mark Zuckerberg is, there is a possibility he may introduce a Premium account on Instagram with added controls and no advertisements for people who desire more privacy and have no qualms paying for it.
Can it kill Twitter or Facebook?
With no ads, brands have little to gain by being on Vero, which leaves people who are willing to pay an annual subscription fee for a social media platform as Vero’s potential user base.
That’s a relatively small number of people and considering Ayman Hariri is already a billionaire, he can allow the business to sustain itself as long as it breaks even.
Vero won’t be killing any social media platforms, but if it is able to conjure loyalty among a respectable number of users worldwide, it is surely here to stay.