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Our Thoughts on the New Kid on the Block: Vero 

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When a new social media platform appears on the scene, it usually gets a mixed reception. Excitement, exclusion, anticipation, rejection. Vero seemed to appear from nowhere and it’s got people talking. Is this where the cool people are going? Should I be on Vero? Do we really need another outlet for our thoughts and photos.

The fact is, Vero has been around since 2015, but it’s only just gaining momentum. That’s because some other social media platforms are almost holding the door open for it to enter, by refusing to give into what the people want.

Vero has entered the scene, all guns blazing, and made us some promises that sets it apart from the established hang-out spots, like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Vero, meaning “true” in Italian, said about themselves:

“We realised we hadn’t just created a new social network. We’d created a new way to be social online. Less of what makes it suck. More of what makes it great.”

And, if we wanted to create a checklist of all the things that social media users want in 2018, Vero ticks the lot.

  • No advertising and no data mining
  • No algorithms
  • A clean feed
  • The ability to buy things and play music within the app
  • The option to control who sees your posts
  • The place to connect over shared interests to discover new music, books, movies and places

Not bad for a platform that’s free to use – for now.

Why Vero Could Do Well

As a digital marketing agency that likes to know about new things as soon as they happen, we wanted to check out Vero’s potential as part of a digital strategy. We’re not the type to exclude something before we’ve checked out the facts, and we’re seeing some potential in this newcomer.

  1. It Targets the Users in Need

Founder Hariri noted that most social media platforms are designed “for the kids”, because people assume it’s only the hip n’ happening that are on social media. That’s not true anymore, so he wanted to aim for a more mature crowd in his design of the network.

It could be the ideal spot for celebrities and public figures. Vero gives users the ability to categorise their audience by close friends, friends, acquaintances and followers. So, those in the public eye don’t need to make two separate accounts for their family and their fans. They can choose to disclose certain information to people they actually know and keep it private from the public.

  1. It’s Filling the Hole that People are Complaining About

No matter how much users shout at Instagram with requests to revert back to a chronological feed, they’re not listening. Vero is filling that appetite for a more organic hang-out spot that is free of ads and algorithms and is feeding off the rebellion against other platforms.

Snapchat initially made its mark by being the anti-Facebook. It offered a place to share content without having to worry about its permanence or it being seen by everyone – employers included.

  1. It has a Smart Growth Hacking Strategy

Vero is encouraging an influx of users by offering its services for free to the first million people that sign up. This is a way to get the boat moving and establish a strong starting user base. Once it surpasses the one-mil user mark, it’s going to start charging an annual subscription price of a couple of coffees. It’s affordable, but it’s going to bring in the bucks for the company.

Because of the wave of initial users, Vero experienced some glitches in service and as way of apology, it’s extended its offer of free use. This is a smart way to build trust as a new company that’s probably going to get its fair share of resistance.

Do We Think it Will Be a Revolution? 

So far, it’s looking like the core of Vero is based around personal interests and hobbies, so where do companies come in? The platform is loosely keeping your digital strategy in mind; it allows businesses to create profiles and allows influencers to promote brands, just like the other busy corners of the internet.

It doesn’t, however, permit advertising. For that reason, we can’t see it becoming a major platform for brands to promote their products, nor will it be a leading component of a strong digital strategy.

Depending on the industry you’re in, you might get some value out of Vero. Tattooists were some of the first people to latch onto the image-centric feed, because they’re able to showcase their artwork to those interested in that industry. Although they can do that on Instagram, they’re still battling with the algorithms over there.

Despite its signs of potential, we’ve seen so many social media platforms make a strong entrance and then crumble away, ending up as part of the mud with other dead networks. Ello is one example of that. It received a similar welcome onto the scene but quickly faded away. With a similar set of values to Vero and placing itself as an ad-free alternative to Facebook where people could connect and create, rather than be manipulated, Ello went with the slogan: “You are not a product”.

It’s now a walking zombie, along with Myspace and Yo.

So, the question remains; is the same fate in-store for Vero? Mostly, we’re concerned about whether people can actually be bothered with another social network when they already use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Snapchat on an almost daily basis.

Vero isn’t designed for brands, but for people. But because businesses and influencers are able to create profiles, it’s likely that those users that want to avoid being marketed to will fall off, meaning the brands will eventually fall off, too.

Everything considered, we won’t be adding Vero into our social strategy for now, but we’ll be keeping a close eye on its developments.

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