‘Another social media platform?’, I hear you groan. I know, I know – we’re all supposed to be breaking up with our phones, not spending more time on them, but I’ve been using Vero for a while now (mostly lurking) and I really like it. There’s a transparency and a – gasp – honesty about it that’s quite refreshing. The makers of the app seem to be focusing on the sharing and collating aspects of Vero, and that’s what’s drawing me to it. If you haven’t heard of it – or indeed are a new adopter and a bit baffled – here’s a quick rundown, and here’s how I’ll be using Vero.
Just search for Vero in the app store and then register. I made a conscious decision to register in my own name as I feel that using Vero will be more personalised towards me, so I deliberately didn’t call myself English Mum. I’m sure people will find me if they want to. If you’re an ‘influencer’, I’m sure you’re better to register under your Insta/blog name, but this is how I’ll be using Vero – as something more for me.
What’s Vero all about?
Vero is all about sharing. You can share photos, like Instagram, but you can also share videos, links, music, book reviews (or wishlists), TV programmes, movies… even places. Vero’s developers call it ‘True Social’ – we all naturally yearn to connect with other people, but the trouble is, there’s no ‘one size fits all’, we connect with different people in different ways. Vero allows you to share different things with close friends, friends or acquaintances. And the thinking is, that when you can choose who sees what, you naturally are more you, and therefore the experience is more authentic.
Why is Vero different?
Vero is very customer-focused (yes, customers – later adopters will have to buy membership, but at the moment it’s free). It’s ad-free, chronological (forget nasty Insta algorithms), and there’s no data mining. Vero obviously have to make money, though, and as far as I can see they do that in a very similar way to the affiliate links I use here on the blog – if you click one of my links and buy a product, I make a small amount of money from it. Presumably if businesses advertise their products and we decide to click a ‘buy it now’ type button, Vero will profit from that (and that’s fine with me).
At this stage, it certainly seems like Vero has some of my favourite bits of all the social media apps – the ‘scrapbooking’ sense of Pinterest, the visual appeal of Instagram (but without the horrible algorithms and the never-ending obsession with popularity), the social chat of Twitter (but without the negativity, I’m hoping?).
Once you start finding people to connect with on Vero, you can either just follow them, or if you know them, you can choose to ask to connect with them and – if they accept – categorise them in one of three ‘loops’, either as an acquaintance, a friend, or a close friend (don’t worry, they can’t see).
Everything shared by the people you follow is added to your collections – a chronological list divided into categories: photos/videos, links, music, movies/tv, books and places. I’m especially excited to see how the places collections will evolve – I’d love to see travel recommendations: places to visit, places to grab the best cocktail… It has the potential to be epic.
How I’ll be using Vero
For me, I’m sure using Vero will evolve, but at the moment, it seems less about the photos and more about recommendations: I’ve already found books I want to read, new music I want to listen to, and links to interesting articles. I’m excited about sharing (and collating) recipes I want to try, books I want to read and – interestingly – it’s not so much about self promotion for me. So while I might share my blog posts, I also might not. We’ll see.
What about you?
Have you joined? And if so, how do you see yourself using Vero? It’s not perfect, and I’ve certainly found it quite glitchy so far. Also, I do know that some people are avoiding it/leaving due to humanitarian issues with its owner (edit: in an interview* with The Verge on March 2nd, Ayman Hariri categorically stated that he had severed ties with the controversial Saudi Oger firm in 2014), but if you’re staying for now, leave your user name below and I’ll come and see what you’re sharing too.