Another day, another social media platform has come into our lives (and, potentially, stolen a teeny bit more of our time). What was your first thought? ‘Not again’ or ‘Ohhh… sounds interesting!’. If you’re the latter, you will have probably decided to sign up, but if you’re sure, I hope to answer the question – should you try Vero?
Why is Vero different?
I’m not going to lie and say I’m an expert on Vero. I signed up a few days ago and have done a fair amount of reading and video watching since then. So I’m going to tell you how I see it.
The main idea behind Vero seems to be to promote real, genuine and true content… and the main part of this being that the content isn’t filtered or impacted by an algorithm. The algorithm of any social media platform is what ‘decides’ what content you as the user will see, based on various factors. The algorithm restricting reach on posts has been the source of a lot of people’s annoyance… and I can completely see why. You pour your heart and soul into a post, or spend hours on the perfect pic… and then next to no one sees it. And it’s gutting. And the algorithm gets the blame. And it is to blame… but it doesn’t have an easy job. Generally, the aim of an algorithm is to rank posts in order of importance or relevance rather than time, to allow you to see the most relevant and engaging content. It doesn’t always work like that, granted, but that’s the idea. Of course, it’s not quite that simple. It’s not just relevance that influences the algorithm and what you can see… but I digress.
One of the key things that makes Vero different is that there is no algorithm reordering your posts. And the business model means that there are no ads either. Two things that users of social media have become increasingly frustrated by on other platforms.
How does Vero make its money?
Subscriptions. That’s how Vero plans to make its money. As of yet, I can’t find how much the subscription will be and I can’t see it online. The first one million sign ups will not have to pay for their subscription, for life, according to Vero’s Manifesto.
First impressions of Vero?
At time of writing, I haven’t been on the platform a lot… and that’s mainly because the server keeps timing out. At the moment, it is a bit glitchy in my experience BUT let’s not forget its age. We’re used to Facebook and Instagram and Twitter – platforms that have been around for a long time are now fully fledged adults in this social media life. Vero has recently got a lot of attention on social media and online, and based on the Twitter feed, this sudden influx has caused them some issues. It’s good they have been open and communicative about the issues and it does look like (again, according to Twitter!) that these are being resolved. There will be teething problems, there always are, with any new thing.
I also have found it a bit overwhelming. I think that while we like to moan about the algorithm, it has actually removed a LOT from our feeds. When you look at Vero, you’re greeted by everything that has been posted from people you follow or have connected with. And that can be a lot… even in the early stages. I think it’ll make me very careful about who I follow as I just won’t be able to process everyone’s posts. And that will mean that the things that are the most relevant to me will get lost. And then I start thinking that the various algorithms have, perhaps, done me a favour? Maybe?
What about the founders?
I have to address this issue. I’ve read about one of the founders and the issues that he has had with another business (and I appreciate that ‘issues’ doesn’t do the problems justice in many ways!). This doesn’t make me 100% comfortable BUT I am also aware that stories can be spun. I’m not saying the information isn’t accurate, but what I am saying is that I personally haven’t done enough research to discount a platform that some seriously big influencers are supporting. I also think that the press can twist things to suit. And that these stories have only started to surface since Vero became popular. I’m reserving judgement. And I haven’t dug deep into the other social media platforms, their founders and all previous businesses/current business dealings either. That’s not belittling the issue and I wouldn’t want you to think that at all. It’s just my honest view on it. As I read more and learn more, I might decide that everything reported seems to be accurate and it’s not something I want to support… I’m not pig headed enough to never change my mind when evidence supports that change.
Should you try Vero?
Should you try Vero? It’s completely up to you. And if you want to, do your own research, read all the Ts and Cs and then decide. I have – here’s why. We all know that early adopters to any platform have the greatest chance of success on it, so that’s that box ticked. The idea is interesting too.
Now, you might be thinking ‘but what if it doesn’t last or changes?’… and my answer would be ‘and?’. See, for the first million sign ups, it’s free, so you haven’t lost any money. You will lose some time if it doesn’t work out, but I see it as research and learning… and really the amount of time involved to learn about this new platform is minimal… and can be controlled by YOU. If you want to get on it and spend five mins messing around, good for you. You don’t have to commit to the next three weeks solidly. The choice is yours – as it is with all social media. And if you hate it for whatever reason, you can delete your account.
And if it does become the next big thing, then you’ll be an early adopter and that’s a great position to be in.
What do other people think about Vero?
A lot of people seem very excited about it on other social media platforms, but I first heard about it through Sara Tasker of Me and Orla fame. Sara is an Instagram legend and produces a superb podcast called Hashtag Authentic that I would recommend anyone in a creative industry listens to. I asked Sara what she thought about it and why she got involved. She said: “I like the premise of algorithm free – I genuinely miss that on all my social media. Plus it’s the first platform in ages that enough people have adopted to make it worth being on!”
And if that’s not enough of a nudge to give it a spin, I’m not sure what is. I’m just keeping everything crossed that it starts working a little more reliably for me…