You may have been hearing rumblings about a 'new' social media app that's looking to disrupt the current State of Social Media. It's been gaining more and more traction on other social media platforms over the past couple of days, even though it's been around for quite some time now. It aims to be ad-free and algorithm-averse.
But what is Vero and why should you care?
What Is Vero - True Social?
Simply put, Vero is the latest social media service that wants to take over your life. At first glance, you're probably thinking "Why would I need ANOTHER social media service in my life?" (anyone remember Ello? Just me? Okay.) and that's fair enough. However, Vero is trying to do things a little differently.
The word 'Vero' is Italian for 'true' and the core idea behind the service is that it will provide a social media network that never runs ads and is not dictated by algorithms. A boiler plate slogan you get when you sign up is that Vero is a 'relationship first social network' that 'aims to align physical world relationships to online experience'.
In the future, Vero will be paid for by subscription, with an annual price that CNBC reports will amount to "a couple of cups of coffee". However, the first million users on the platform will be able to use Vero for free, for life.
That's not the only way Vero makes money though, as posting on the app will also allow users to access the products that they are talking about. If a click-through results in a sale, Vero takes a percentage of the sale as a commission.
The slick home interface is reminiscent of the early Instagram feed with user names at the top and what kind of content they're sharing in chronological order underneath. Compared to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, Vero is designed in a 'night mode' of sorts, with dark backgrounds and colours, as opposed to the big white spaces of the former three. It's certainly different.
What Does Vero Social Media Do Differently?
Apart from the aforementioned no-ads policy and design, there are three core tenets to Vero's app centred on what you can share, who you share it with and how you find the content you want to see.
When you post on Vero, you have a choice to add movies, tv, music, books, places, photos and straight links. On Vero, you don't update a status, per se - you always add a piece of content with it.
Who you share that content with is up to you. Vero has four separate 'tiers' that allow you to decide who your content goes to. When creating a post, you can set it to just be seen by your close friends, your friends, acquaintances or your followers. When you add a contact to the service, you set which of those 'tiers' they fall under. Your contacts won't know what social circle they are in so you won't ruin any relationships like back in the 'MySpace Top 8' days. You can also filter what you see from your friends in terms of what they link. If you're sick of one friends music recommendations, you can turn that off.
Lastly, the search function is useful when trying to find a specific pop culture category you're interested in. If you want to find out what your friends are saying about a new film, you can search your Collections and see everything everyone you know or follow has posted about it.
Currently, a few big name celebrities use the service pretty religiously, with Zack Snyder and Clay Enos, the big two. Snyder, the helm of DC's Cinematic Universe, routinely updates his Vero with tidbits about his films. That's not appealing for me, but for some users, it might make or break using the service.
Why Should I Use Vero?
Not really a question that I can answer, to be honest. Are you over the algorithms and updates from the other service providers? Perhaps you're sick of seeing Neo-Nazi's in your Twitter feed? Perhaps you're worried that social media sites are listening in on you and tailoring ads to you?
Or perhaps you're totally content with the torrent of baby photos that your Facebook feed has become as you grow older?
I cannot answer that question for you - just provide you with the facts. For me, the biggest selling point early is that there are no ads and that the feed is in chronological order. I didn't know how much I'd missed that, especially in regards to seeing other people's images.
How Do You Sign Up For Vero Social Media?
Hold up a minute. Registration issues have arisen in the last couple of days due to the volume of users. This was announced on Vero's Twitter yesterday. It does seem like services have returned to normal for now and registrations should operate as normal.
We have patched our servers and believe we have resolved the registration issue. Please let us know if you still have issues registering. Thank you so much for your patience.
— Vero (@verotruesocial) February 22, 2018
The registration process requires you to give your mobile number, so Vero can text or call you and register you with the platform via a four-digit code. Vero suggests that the reason for obtaining your phone number is to authenticate and to connect you to your friends.
If you can't be bothered with yet another social media platform to stay on top of, well, don't download the app!