What is Vero?
Vero is a mobile-only social platform launched in 2015 and owned by Ayman Rafic Hariri, a Lebanese billionaire businessman, son and heir to ex Prime Minister of Lebanon Rafic Hariri. The “true social” platform allows you to categorise your connections and choose who you share your images, videos, links, book and movie recommendations with.
How is Vero different?
There are a few obvious differences between Vero and the Instagram/Facebook model:
- The user is the customer
Vero is a freemium app, allowing its first million users a free account for life, and planning to charge a “small” fee to new users thereafter. This implies that, as a paid service, users can have more input into and expect more from the app and its customer service. You can already see a higher level of customer service from the app’s Twitter account. For example, I had some issues signing in, and the response I received was timely, with the brand promising to get a developer on the case if the glitch was not resolved.
- No algorithm choosing what content you see
The feed is composed of your posts and the posts of people you’re either connected with or people you follow. We don’t curate it, 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.
You won’t have to pay to “boost your post”, or “reach your audience.” (Vero Manifesto)
This is one of the main drivers of Instagram communities on to Vero – since the algorithm change a lot of users have become frustrated with the impact it has had on their visibility and engagement.
Vero’s “feed” is reverse-chronological, just like the good old days of Instagram, and I believe this is the main reason there are over 512,000 posts under the hashtag #vero on Instagram, most of which are asking their communities to follow them on the app.
- No advertising
Vero’s manifesto outlines its subscription-based business model and vision to “keep Vero advertising-free”. I guess Instagram’s plans were very similar when they started out – but there’s something about having this spelled out in a manifesto which just makes you want to give Vero the benefit of the doubt. It promises to:
focus solely on delivering the best social experience instead of trying to find new ways to monetize our users’ behavior or tricking them back into the app with notifications.’ (Vero Manifesto)
- Less data gathered on its users
With the implementation date of GDPR fast approaching, this facet of Vero’s model is especially appealing. But that aside, Vero collects just the following data: mobile number, email address, name and app usage data. Because it is not planning to use advertising as part of its business model, the only data it needs is data the brand “believe[s] is necessary to provide users with a great experience and to ensure the security of their accounts.” (Vero Manifesto)
Who is on Vero?
I found out about Vero through some of the influencers I follow on Instagram, so I was immediately curious to find out who else is there.
It surprised me to find Temperley London there! They are a verified account and have around 2,000 followers. I noticed they’re using the “Products” feature and allow users to shop directly on Vero.
In fact, Vero launched the “Buy Now” functionality in partnership with Temperley London in September 2016.
Should your brand create an account on Vero?
In short, whether to create an account is not the big question – the big question is which brands are going to leverage Vero at the right time and in the right way?
Users migrating to Vero (albeit not slowing down their Instagram posting yet!) are just figuring out the new app, and are excited and curious about what it might bring. I doubt that crashing the party with the same messaging your brand has on Facebook or Instagram is going to cut it.
But you should be on Vero if your brand is “disrupting” the market you are in. What a better way to truly showcase how your product/ business/solutions are challenging your market then by having a social strategy on a disruptive platform?
Even if it’s not yet time for your brand to begin its Vero journey, your social media or marketing manager should definitely create an account today. As they say, knowledge is power and being on top of this trend early (even if it turns out it was just a fad) is going to give you the upper hand.
If you do take the plunge on Vero, find me there (tandcsnaps) and follow/ connect with me!