“We created a new way to be social online. Less of what makes it suck. More of what makes it great.”
“Our intention is really to create an online social network that mimics the greatest social network that exists, which is the one that exists between people. Our responsibility as designers and developers is to have technology be a tool for people — to have it enhance their life experiences and not to detract from them.”
— Vero co-founder Ayman Hariri told Entrepreneur.
The social media marketing conversation lately has been dominated by the controversy surrounding Facebook and there is a new social networking app waiting in the wings. VERO, the ad-free platform that promises no algorithms, no feed curating, and no data mining; just an easy way for us to “share the stuff we love” and “connect over shared interests.”
Sounds interesting … Maybe a little familiar. Vero aspires to be “Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube in one package,” per TechNewsDay. A few other social media upstarts have tried to capture users in recent years, too, only to fade away. And Vero isn’t even brand new — it’s been around since 2015. But it is definitely worth putting on your radar and watching it evolve.
What’s Vero Got Going for It?
Add the Vero app to your phone or tablet and right away you’re going to notice the clean look and simple interface. There are a few reasons for that and they are definitely part of Vero’s core principles:
- The feed is chronological — you, the user, curate your feed; not some corporate algorithm you can’t see or change
- Your photos are at a higher resolution than Instagram, so it is a really nice app for photographers and photo sharing, as well as videos
- Organizing and sharing lots of other content is available in a simple way on Vero: music and movies, books and places, etc.
- Your audience selector is pretty straightforward, as well, letting you decide who does — and doesn’t — see your posts
- And there is the “no ads” policy, which really makes a difference in the user experience
- It’s also easy to do things like play your music or buy things without leaving the app
The idea behind Vero is to give us lots of user control with none of the manipulation and data mining of other social platforms. They also promise to remain ad-free by eventually adopting a low-cost monthly subscription model … although that was pegged to start once they hit one million users (who are guaranteed free Vero for life!), and they blew past that already. The good news is they have posted a notice that they’ll stay subscription-free for a while longer, anyway.
What’s the Catch?
Well, like me, you’ve seen a few new (some huge — think Google+!) social media apps try to upend or replace established social networks and everything we do with and on them. That is difficult to do. Vero may not be different enough. And even when new players are successful, it’s hard to keep a social platform alive, growing, and well maintained. (Vero, too, has been experiencing server slowdowns amidst its recent notoriety.)
Also, there is some hesitation about Vero due to its provenance. The founder is a Lebanese billionaire whose prior company and family have been linked to questionable ethics and business practices in the Middle East. Also, all of its listed developers are in Russia, which, at this particular inflection point in social media, including the recent whoosh to prominence of this 3-year-old app, is raising some yellow flags vis á vis our personal data and online influences …
Is there a Place for Vero in Social Recruiting?
Employers want a presence anywhere that top tier talent is communicating. Vero is already being presented as a marketplace for entrepreneurs: brands can sell products through the “buy now” feature on the app, once verified. What other opportunities will there be in this growing community of three million reported users (per Entrepreneur.com)?
Also, as I discussed in a recent blog and LinkedIn article about the impact of visual storytelling, social campaigns can always leverage high-impact, high-quality visual content to drive traffic to your career website and tell your story. The high-res, clutter-free, no-ad interface on Vero could potentially offer dynamic new opportunities for your social recruiting strategy.