People have been going crazy about Vero – the new must-have social media app – even though the majority of us can’t access it because it’s extremely buggy at the moment. We’ll give Vero the benefit of the doubt, though. It’s likely they weren’t expecting such a big influx of users.
Firstly, if you’re in a hurry, you can watch my 90 second update below. If you’d like it in more detail, keep reading.
What Is Vero?
It’s a social media platform that has been called the ‘new Instagram’. What you might not know about it, is that it has been around for two years. We all know by now that there ain’t no such thing as an overnight success, and Lebanese billionaire Ayman Hariri, movie financier Motaz Nabulsi and venture capitalist Scott Birnbaum, have proven this with Vero.
The premise behind Vero is simple; it’s a platform for ‘the people’. It prides itself on no algorithms and adverts. It will be funded, instead, by you. The first 1m users will get the app for free, forever. After that, you will pay a small annual subscription that we’re told will be no more than a ‘couple of cups of coffee’.
What Are The Key Features?
It has picked out some of the better features of our favourite apps and tried to add them in as much as possible.
The key feature is that posts are shown in chronological order. The creators have really listened to what Instagram users have been shouting about in recent years and have promised to keep it that way.
Companies will be able to add ‘buy it now’ links to their products, but that’s about as far as advertising goes on Vero.
Perhaps my favourite feature is that you can assign each of your connections a level of friendship (this, of course, is unbeknownst to your friends – nobody needs a repeat of MySpace top 8!) It means that people who you know really well – i.e. your Facebook friends – can see different content to people you don’t really know. You get the freedom to choose where your content is going.
What Is It Missing?
Aside from the fact it’s hardly working right now, there’s one key feature (as far as I’m concerned) missing. I use Instagram Stories more than anything else. There isn’t a stories / Snapchat equivalent on Vero (yet). In the past couple of years, Instagram Stories is perhaps one of my favourite updates. I think there’s a real place on social media platforms for 24 hour content, and that’s something Vero will need to consider.
Secondly, there’s no events section. This isn’t something I use, but businesses (particularly small businesses) rely on this function for local events etc.
I personally quite enjoy the branding, but Jim said he doesn’t like the ‘night mode’ look to it. It’s quite dark, I would agree, and perhaps not in-keeping with the very simplistic and bright tones of the other apps.
Finally, it’s VERY disconcerting when somebody direct messages you an image and it pops up on your newsfeed. It can only be viewed by you, but it’s quite weird. Especially if you’re having a bitchy screenshot session and all of a sudden it pops up on your newsfeed!
Overall though, I’m not expecting the app to be everything that Facebook, Instagram & Twitter are. It has its own merits and needs a bit of originality.
What Do I Think About It?
It’s ok – to be honest, I’m not completely sold. I really like that I can share the books that I’m reading, but that’s probably quite specific to me as an author. I rarely share books and TV programmes I like because I don’t have a platform to do it, so perhaps it’s subconsciously created a little niche there.
I’ve also seen a few conspiracy theories floating around that this is somehow some sort of Russian-backed way to take over the world. I also don’t believe this.
It’s quite hard to leave Vero at the moment, too. Cancelling my account was a real hardship. I don’t think – again – that this is some sort of conspiracy. They’ve clearly (given the app is barely working) got a number of teething problems to sort out.
I’ll give it a week, Vero. If you can’t sort out the problems brought on by rapid growth by then, I’m going to delete you as quickly as I deleted Pokemon Go.
What do you all think?