Vero: The Good, the Bad, and the Hypocritical
In recent weeks, a little-known app founded in 2013 and launched in 2015 surged the ranks of the iOS app store and gained the number-one spot in Google Play. In the process, the servers supporting the product crashed. What product was this? Vero, a new competitor to social media behemoths Instagram (owned by Facebook) and Snapchat, as well as the mac daddy OGs themselves — Facebook and Twitter. Founded by Lebanese billionaire Ayman Hariri, Vero seeks to be an authentic network designed to enhance our relationships with others, rather than detract from life’s experiences. At the time of this writing, there are nearly three million registered users, and the platform itself appears to be growing…fast. So if you’re looking to get in on the action while the going is hot, here’s what you should know.
Unlike what we’ve come to expect from “traditional” social media platforms, Vero is completely ad free. As a result, the company chooses to operate on a subscription-based business model, allowing users to focus on their own content rather than contend with an influx of paid advertising competing with their feed. Of course, when Vero was launched it promised that the first million users would receive free service for life; but due to various circumstances, which we’ll get into, they’ve now extended their freemium model indefinitely.
As for the perks of this particular app, there are several. For starters, the user interface is gorgeous. (If fizzled-out Facebook competitor Ello had been half as beautiful, maybe it would’ve been successful.) In addition, the feeds themselves are supposedly not manipulated by algorithms, meaning your posts are displayed in chronological order (think vintage Instagram). You can also segment your audience for each post, enabling you to share varying degrees of content with close friends, acquaintances and mere followers. This feature may further benefit the marketplace for entrepreneurs that Vero hopes to accommodate. Through a “Buy Now” feature available for verified accounts of brands and influencers, users can actually buy and sell products through posts rather than ads.