You may have noticed that your favorite Instagrammers are trying out a new app called Vero. A similar app to Instagram, Vero is currently #1 in the Social Networking category in the App Store. Its creators claim the app makes sharing online content “more like real life,” as stated in its App Store description. But what is Vero, and is it really the new Instagram?
One selling point to Vero is the fact that users can pick who can and cannot see their posts. They can do so by categorizing followers based on real-life relationships (“close friends,” “friends,” and “acquaintances”). Users can also share more than just photos and videos. Links, music, movies, books, and places can all be shared and put into “collections.”
The real draw is that Vero is completely ad-free. This puts control back into the hands of users, rather than advertisers and platforms, so says Vero’s manifesto. According to BBC News, Vero was initially created by billionaire businessman Ayman Hariri in 2015 after he became frustrated with the overwhelming number of Facebook and Twitter ads.
Vero’s sudden popularity is possibly related to Instagram’s influx of ads and its wonky new algorithm that shows posts out of order (Vero posts in reverse-chronological order, btw). Instagram users might finally be fed up enough to make the switch.
However, that switch is proving to be a confusing one. Many have taken to Twitter to get some answers.
Other Vero users are struggling with platform malfunctions. Because of this, Vero only has a 2.2-star rating out of 5 in the App Store. Reviewers complain of bugs, slowness, and of how the app is confusing to use.
Currently, Vero is a free app. But in order to keep the platform ad-free, the company will start charging users a subscription fee. Whether that will keep people interested or not is up in the air.
The ball is in Vero’s court right now. It’s on the verge of being the next big thing in social media, but it will have to tighten up its design and fix those malfunctions to attract and keep users. Then again, if Instagram feels threatened by Vero, Instagram might change their algorithm back to the way it was and thereby take back its place at the top of the social media kingdom.
Let the app battle commence!