Our thoughts on Vero, the app that's supposedly the "new Instagram"
Yesterday, February 28th, we downloaded Vero to see what all the hubbub was about. Vero, a media sharing app similar to Instagram, offers users an ad-free experience and displays posts in chronological order. This is great news for those of us who are fed up with Instagram’s new algorithm and influx of advertisers. So, what did we think of Vero? What is our Vero app review?
Honestly, we weren’t that impressed.
First of all, Vero is experiencing some pretty frustrating glitches because of its spike in popularity. The company tweeted that it would waive a future subscription fee for the first million who signed up for the app, and people took them up on their offer. But the high volume of users has caused big problems for the platform.
While testing it out, we experienced a “sever timeout error” twice and lost connection to the server at least once. The app also glitched when we tried to change our profile picture. It wouldn’t let us change it until the third try.
Then there’s that “subscription fee” users will be charged in the upcoming months. Because the platform is ad-free, Vero must earn revenue elsewhere (*ahem* its users). Yes, those of us who were one of the first one million users won’t have to pay. But for the rest of Vero’s user base, tough luck! The CEO, Ayman Hariri, has yet to reveal how much a Vero subscription will cost, but the fact that it will cost anything makes us think this thing won’t last.
Speaking of Vero CEO Ayman Hariri — we have to talk about his resumé. Hariri was involved in running the now defunct Saudi Arabian construction company, Saudi Oger. Oger shut down in 2017 after refusing to pay its migrant workers and housing them in horrible living conditions without food or water. When Oger officially shut down, Bloomberg reported that it put thousands of migrant workers (who were still without pay and living in labor camps) out of a job and left behind $3.5 billion in debt.
Personally, we don’t feel comfortable supporting a member of a former operation that treated its workers unethically and unfairly. And potentially having to pay Hariri money would make us feel kinda-sorta-very icky.
After toying around with Vero and unearthing Hariri’s major faux pas, we decided we’d rather stick with Instagram and we wanted to delete our Vero profile. But the thing is, you can’t just delete it. If you want to shut down your account before deleting the app, you have submit a request for the company to remove your profile from Vero.
We sent our request at around 9 p.m. last night and as of 3 p.m. today, the request is still being evaluated by the Vero team. They said they’d reach out again when the profile is actually deleted. Uh…? Just give us a “delete” button and we’ll do it ourselves, Vero!
Sure, Vero has some cool features. You can share movies, books, music, and links the same way you share photos and videos. You can also tailor your posts so only certain people can see them. But in our opinion, the pros don’t outweigh the cons.
Will Vero last? Maybe. If the team fixes all the glitches and bugs, perhaps people will stick around. When the time comes to subscribe, though, we’d be seriously surprised if users buy into an app that offers everything that Instagram does for free.
But for us — we’re already over the hype and will take Instagram’s jumbled algorithm over an app with issues and an ethically unsound CEO. Sorry, Vero. We were never meant to be.