To Vero or Not to Vero
Google “Vero” and you’ll find a slew of articles asking what it is, whether or not it’s safe and addressing all the controversy surrounding it. The app that promises to be the answer to Facebook and Instagram fatigue has been around since 2015, but shot to sudden popularity after a recent publicity push from the company.
In addition to photos, Vero allows you to share books, movies, music, links and even your location with followers (much like Facebook), but with the promise of no advertisements, better privacy, and chronological timelines (unlike Facebook). There’s the option to “like” posts with a familiar heart button, an explore page, a collections tab, and a scrolling interface reminiscent of Instagram. A quick scroll through and it’s clear Vero’s not-so-subtle goal is to take down the current social media giants.
We downloaded the app for ourselves to give it a test run and despite the negative reviews, it wasn’t bad. People criticized the difficulty in signing up (clearly the servers weren’t ready for the sudden influx of traffic) and how slowly the app ran, even with basic functions like posting. But in our experience, those were easy and the app rather intuitive. There’s of course a familiarization period, but spend a few minutes clicking around and it’s easy to pick up on the functionality and features. It’s kind of a kitchen sink social app. There’s a bit of Goodreads, a bit of iTunes/Apple Store, a bit of Google+... but initial reactions can’t speak to whether it’s a jack of all trades or master of none.
But as with all things that are overhyped, it’s good to to take the flurry of excitement surrounding Vero with a grain of salt. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen apps come along that were hailed as the next big thing. First there was The diaspora* Project in 2010 that people called the “Facebook killer,” then Ello in 2016 that was supposedly the new Twitter. Without hitting critical mass, social apps won’t have the necessary network to make a lasting impact in the social sphere. So for now, hold on to your Facebook and Instagram accounts. It doesn’t look like we’ve moved past them just yet.
Photo credits: Thought Catalog (top post) and Alexa Suter (bottom post)