If you are all over Instagram, you may have noticed people talking a lot about Vero lately. So we thought we’d get to the bottom of what it is, what it does and whether it’s really going to be the next big thing in social media.
So what is Vero?
Vero is a new social media app being hailed as the next Instagram. It’s free from ads – and to the delight of many Instagrammers – organised chronologically. It’s been gaining momentum in the past few weeks as influencers and small businesses on Instagram have been complaining about the drop-off in engagement that its new algorithm has created.
It boasts what it calls a “more authentic” experience for its users – taking its name from the Italian word for truth. The app, which is video and image based, bares a lot of similarities to Instagram and as a result is getting attention from photographers, artists and influencers who rely on visual posts to drive reach and engagement. Back in September last year, the social media site posted a video/ advert which revealed the reasons for launching the app; promising a different approach to social media.
Vero actually originally launched back in 2015, but word of mouth from other social media users meant that in the last couple of weeks it ranked in the top 5 most popular apps on Apple’s App store. It was originally launched as a subscription service (as a way to allow it to remain ad-free) with a promise that the first million users would get free access. At the last count, sources said that Vero had over 3 million users, but they have extended the free subscriptions until further notice. According to Business Insider, most of the downloads come from millennials, with more than 50% of users aged 21-40.
Why is it different from other social platforms?
At present, Vero claims to have 4 main areas of difference.
- It is ad-free: so, where other platforms get users to trade personal data in return for free access, the subscription attached to Vero means that users won’t get served ads as a way for the platform to make money.
- It has a chronological feed: unlike Facebook, Twitter and Instagram whose posts are organised by an engagement-based algorithm, its posts are displayed in reverse chronological order – from new to old.
- No data mining: Linked to the fact that it is a subscription service, Vero will not use its users data for advertising or anything else. This approach might also have something to do with the data privacy changes that come into effect in May 2018.
- Audience selection: It allows users to select the audiences that they post to. Making it perfect for influencers and small businesses trying to get maximum engagement.
But does it live up to the hype?
Well, the staggeringly fast growth of the social network over the last few weeks has crippled the Vero servers, making the app unstable for people trying to register. Whilst that issue has now been fixed, those problems made a bad first impression for some, which has resulted in quite a bit of bad press for the app. That, combined with the negative press around both the apps CEO and its Russian-based developers could spell the demise of Vero before it even begins.
But is anyone actually using it?
Well, apart from the 3 million plus users who have already signed up, GQ have hopped on the bandwagon as well as a number of celebrities including Charli XCX, Rita Ora, Plan B and Daisy Lowe. Despite these quick uptakes, the app is now appearing 45th in Apple’s chart of social networking apps, ranking below Google+. Plenty of people seem to be giving Vero the chance that it deserves, with many trying to continue to use the app with a view to steady migration from other social networks. However, the real test will be whether people will love it so much that they will be willing to pay for it?