The social media platform Vero is garnering all kinds of buzz—but is it really the “new Instagram”? Here’s what you need to know, especially if Instagram is part of your current social media marketing strategy.
What is Vero?
Although it's been around for a few years without much notice, the social networking app recently rocketed to the top of the charts on Apples App Store and Google Play. Like Instagram, it's primarily focused on sharing images and videos.
Why is it getting so much buzz?
User dissatisfaction with recent changes to Facebook and Instagram’s algorithms, as well as media attention to "fake news" on Facebook, has undoubtedly helped drive the surge of interest in Vero. The app promises to provide a more "authentic" social network that gives users more control. Specifically, it lets you group people into Close friends, Friends, Acquaintances and Followers.
Users frustrated with the onslaught of advertising on Facebook and Instagram are curious about Vero because it's ad-free. Posts also show up in reverse chronological order, rather than based on an algorithm that shows only what the social media site wants you to see. As Vero’s “manifesto" puts it: “We don't curate [the feed], manipulate it, insert advertising in it, or hold back posts. You see what has been shared with you, when it's been shared with you.”
How will Vero make money without ads?
Vero is currently subscription-based, stating that users, not advertisers, are the customers it's intended to serve. The social network helped spur sign-ups offering the first 1 million subscribers free subscriptions for life. The result: The site got so much traffic it's been crashing repeatedly. Based on these difficulties, at press time Vero was extending the offer to all new users. (It’s unclear how long this offer will stand.)
How can business owners use Vero?
Just because Vero does not take advertising doesn't mean you can't use it to sell things. In fact, the site promotes itself as “the platform of choice" for a host of brands, although currently the majority of brands are musicians, photographers, filmmakers, graphic designers and other artists. Posts can include links to your website, so it may become a viable option for driving traffic to your e-commerce site. Businesses can also use a "buy now" feature that enables users to purchase directly through Vero (businesses pay a fee for each such transaction).
What should I do with Vero?
Do you need to add Vero to your social media marketing strategy? Right now, tech- industry watchers seem skeptical. Many have noted that Facebook, Instagram and Twitter all started out ad-free, too. Others point out that with Facebook boasting over 2 million users and Instagram a hefty 800 million users, Vero has a long way to go to become competitive. And Facebook already offers the option to sort your connections into different groups.
Time will tell if Vero is really the next big thing or a flash in the pan. Still, as with any new social media network, it's worth checking out and getting an account for your business . . . just in case.