If you’ve been on social media over the past week then you’ve most likely heard about Vero – True Social (or Vero). Although the platform was actually launched in 2015, it has only recently gained viral popularity with over 500,000 downloads in 24 hours and is now ranked as the number 1 app on the iOS store.
It is the cosplay world that catapulted the knowledge that Vero existed after having their images being censored and deemed inappropriate to be posted on instagram. The rise of the app is said to be a revolt against instagram by users who find the platform to be too focused on money and algorithms rather than customer experience.
What exactly is Vero?
Vero is a photo-sharing app that describes itself as “a social network for anyone who loves anything enough to share it – and wants control over who they share it with. Just like we do in real life.”
Vero’s manifesto expands on this idea, making clearthat the platform is created to put the interest of the user above the interest of the platform.
How is Vero different to Instagram?
Basically, Vero has taken the pain points of users on Instagram and solved it on their platform. Vero prides itself in providing an algorithm-free, ad free news feed, showing posts in chronological order – just like the good old days of Facebook – hashtags and filters are still involved. It also emphasises that it collects only minimal data from its users.
Vero differentiates itself from instagram as you can post text or link to web content with URLs and discuss and recommend music, books and films through the platform. Another major difference is the clear distinction between a ‘friend’ and ‘follower’. In Vero, they are not one in the same.
The platform goes even further in allowing you to tier your friends based on how close you are to them, and therefore, how much information you would like to share with these them. You can categorise individuals as “close friend”, “friend”, “acquaintance,” or “follower”. When you then go to share a post on Vero you can choose which categories are able to see what you have shared.
What’s the catch?
If the platform doesn’t allow for advertising, how does it make money? Well, the platform is free for the first million users, after that the platform will require an annual fee reported to be around “a few dollars a year.” And just because there are no paid ads on Vero doesn’t mean that there is no option to purchase goods via the app. If content creators want to set up shop in the app to promote their goods and services, they can do so, at the cost of Vero taking a substantial percentage of the sell.
People are not so impressed by the man behind the app either, CEO and co-founder, Ayman Hariri, son of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri has been accused of being involved in some dodgy employee handling through the construction company Oger.
welp Vero was fun until i realized their CEO stopped paying salaries to 9,000 Filipino workers at his previous construction company rendering them essentially homeless and reliant on food donations. peace ✌🏼
— tyler hansen (@_heyheytyler) 27 February 2018
There has also been a lot backlash for Vero as users who wish to delete their account are finding it difficult to do so. The process requires users to “request deletion of your account by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org,” the company explains. “Please note that some information may remain in our private records after your deletion of such information from your account.” This is not something people are impressed with as many find their pending request for deletion unethical.
Delete account is in the “?” on your profile and then it says this.
It should say “Thanks, your account is deleted!” not make me wait to see if it’s okay with you first. pic.twitter.com/CrXCpLE1mV
— Justine Ezarik 🎉 (@ijustine) 26 February 2018
Something at Get Digi With It have found with the app is the number of bugs it has. We understand that the large influx of users has put pressure on the app and its ability to function, however, we found ourselves stuck on the front screen of the app for an hour before giving up. The website has added a floating bar to their website notifying users that they are working to bring back normal service to the app.
Should I join Vero for business?
As the app is currently unstable and there is a lot of negativity surrounding the use and origins of Vero, we would recommend taking a slow approach to joining up as a business account.
As the app was created for the sole purpose of bring back “real-life” interaction and experiences, having a business account seems counterintuitive as a revenue stream. If you are looking at the platform as a place for building a strong and loyal community then Vero might be your answer. I would wait another month to see whether this is all just hype.