You may have heard the name Vero being thrown around the social media world in the last few days. Vero, translating literally to ‘truth’, is the newest social networking app to take the web by storm. It brands itself as ‘true social’, noting that other sites are too full of advertisements and algorithms (psst, Facebook). It’s been a while since a new social networking platform came into the mix – it seems like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter have been around forever, but there was a time when people instead spent their days scrolling through Bebo and MySpace (before Mark Zuckerburg came into the picture).
So what is Vero?
Despite its sudden surge into the headlines, Vero was actually released back in 2015 by Lebanese billionaire businessman, Ayman Hariri. It has the qualities you’d expect from any other social networking app – a scrollable news feed, opportunity to follow other users, hashtags and a private message section. The main difference is that they say that it will be advert free – but how long this can be kept up for is certainly a discussion point. The app is currently free for users to download and use, but they have said that there will be a subscription charge applicable after the first 1 million users have signed up, something that we’re not convinced users will go for. Whilst Vero sticks by the fact that they won’t introduce advertisements on the app, they do currently take a cut from products that other companies sell within the app, much like an affiliate program. It’s possible that this could turn into something bigger for the platform, given that in the past they have signed deals with GQ and Temperley London. Brands are also able to purchase ‘Buy Now’ buttons on the app, which allow users to directly purchase featured products. The difference here is that these ‘ads’ won’t be pushed to be in front of users like they would be on other social media platforms.
What could this mean for social media marketers?
For the moment, not much – but it depends hugely on the popularity of the platform. The number of users complaining about the likes of Instagram and Facebook algorithms and non-chronological feeds have increased tenfold in the last year, so it could mean that many users migrate from existing platforms to the new self-proclaimed ‘true social’ app. This could potentially mean a drop in reach and engagement for brands and companies marketing themselves on existing platforms – but this is yet to be seen.
Feeds of existing platforms, namely Facebook and Instagram, are all individual to each user – no two Facebook feeds will be the same these days, even If you like all of the same pages and have the same friends. This is where the algorithm comes in – its point is to tailor each user’s experience to their interests, activity, engagement and browsing history. It decides what it thinks the user wants to see, but not all users are enamoured by this. Some users want to be shown everything that’s posted in chronological order, which is where Vero could potentially have the upper hand.
Have you signed up yet? We’ll be watching this space to see whether Vero’s true social is a true success.