You might think that we’ve already got all the social media we could possibly need; in fact, the majority of us simply don’t have the time to keep up with yet another social platform. Yet the people of the internet disagree. Every so often a new platform pops up, but most don’t stick around.
In the past couple of weeks, a new social network has taken the internet by storm: Vero. People have flocked from Instagram to Vero, so much so that the new app spent a week glitching and crashing thanks to the influx of new users.
So we’re taking a more in depth look at Vero: what is it, why are people rushing to sign up and should you download the app too?
Vero is a social networking platform currently exclusively available as a mobile app. Despite its recent boom, Vero has actually been around since 2015, launched by billionaire Ayman Hariri, Motaz Nabulsi and Scott Birnbaum.
They are billing themselves as “True Social” in response to peoples’ requests for social media to be more about real connections than business focused. They describe themselves as such:
“Vero is 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.”
The recent explosion of people downloading Vero seems to have been a combination of excellent timing, good marketing and appealing to exactly what users are missing on other platforms.
Social media users have been bemoaning algorithmic timelines since they first launched; Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have all faced the wrath of angry users as a result of removing their chronological timelines in favour of ones the platform believes they want to see.
Vero, on the other hand, keeps it simple. You are shown a timeline in the true sense of the word, with only posts from your friends and those you follow appearing in the order in which they were published, starting with the newest first. The ease and practicality of this has really appealed to people sick of seeing days-old posts on other platforms.
Vero has been deemed the “new Instagram” and it’s been speculated that this new platform will mean Instagram’s death. While we’re not entirely convinced by that, it does mimic Instagram in many ways, and also outshines it in others.
Where Vero has a similar liking system to Instagram, you can also publish recommendations, including TV shows, music and online articles you like. This is massively attractive to those trying to direct traffic to their sites but have been unable to previously with Instagram since they would first need to get users to their profile to click the link there.
In keeping with their “real” and “true” values of their social media platform manifesto, Vero have pledged not to show ads to their users. They want people to connect naturally, not be distracted by things they don’t want to see. The lack of ads is refreshing for users and very attractive.
Vero makes it very obvious where your posts are shared and with whom. Every person you follow or connect with can be classified as one of the following: follower, acquaintance, friend or close friend. You are given the option on every single post you share which group you’d like it shown to.
As a very successful marketing technique, Vero made it clear that they were allowing “free for life” sign ups for the first million users to sign up to their new platform. People just can’t resist an offer like this and it also came very well timed.
Instagram may continue to deny it, but at around the same time that it became known that Vero were offering free accounts to the first million users to sign up, a number of influencers were hit by the mysterious Instagram shadow ban.
The shadow ban is where Instagram users will notice their posts no longer appearing in hashtag searches, meaning their images have far less reach than previously, reportedly as a result of using the same hashtags too frequently, using banned hashtags or spamming Instagram in other ways. Unfortunately, Instagram does not make it clear what these banned hashtags are and it appears that they can also change daily, so what was a usable hashtag yesterday may not be so today. They appear to get banned if shady users have been misusing them and the community reports a certain number of posts with that specific hashtag.
There was a mass shadow ban across a large number of users in the last couple of weeks that had people at the end of their tethers with the platform, meaning that when a similar, but better-sounding, platform offered itself on a platter, people jumped ship from Instagram and headed to the shinier version.
If all the above advantages appeal to you, Vero might be right up your street. A “real” social platform that shows you what you want to see without the clutter of algorithms or ads.
However there are a few disadvantages to the platform that have already sent users running to the hills. Many people rushed to sign up quickly on the “free for life” offer for the first million, however this meant they overlooked a couple of clauses in Vero’s terms and conditions as well as some reported sketchy business practices:
It took a little while, but users noticed a clause in Vero’s terms and conditions that stated that they have ownership of the content you publish to their network. While they are not allowed to sell it to third parties or profit off it, this is still something concerning.
Due to its overnight success and viral impact in the past couple of weeks, Vero’s servers have struggled to stand up to the huge number of users suddenly signing up. As a result, the app has been slow to load, often timing out, glitchy, with some people noticing their posts have disappeared or connections have not properly been made. It’s understandable with the mass migration being so unexpected, but it’s something that needs to be brought into hand quickly before users start leaving the platform again.
As the app is so new, its database of users is still very small. That means your consumers may not yet be on this app, nor might they ever be. It may be that it simply disappears again overnight and all the effort you’ve put in will be for nought.
We suggest finding out first whether your customers, friends and clients are using Vero first, whether it’s taken off in your industry, and using that to make your decision of whether to hop on board and enjoy the free-from-distractions platform or whether to take it easy to begin with.
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