Have you heard of Vero? It’s the new black. Well, it’s actually the new Instagram. And it’s also the new Facebook. And everyone is obsessed with it. If you’re not on Vero, you’re nothing in [your] town! If you’re still confused (don’t worry, we all are) here’s a simple explanation of the new social media network that is blowing up bigger than a perfectly executed thirst trap.
The benefits of Vero are many. Its feed works in chronological order, unlike Instagram’s algorithm which many users are fed up with. It also lets you label your connections, which is huge. So when you connect with someone you can designate them as a friend, acquaintance, close friend, follower and then decide with each post with audience gets to see it. So you can put all of your extended family members into “acquaintance” and hide your late night weekend posts from them. They’ll have access to those humanitarian shots of you volunteering in impoverished countries or selfies of you “reading books.” That’s all they want to see anyways. Better yet, your extended family members may never even learn about Vero.
Vero is also ad-free, but so far no successful social media network has been able to uphold that. There was once pure and untainted versions of Instagram, Facebook and Twitter not littered with sponsored posts. Instagram stories not that long ago weren’t trying to sell you anything. It’d be impressive to see how long Vero can go without them. So far the subscription based network has been around since 2015 sans ads.
What makes it not so great? To see what all the hype was about I went to download Vero only to receive an error message. Its current influx in popularity (why now, after three years of existence? Not totally sure.) has slowed down the app and isn’t letting people sign up at the moment. In the time it took for me to try and create an account, USA Today published an article about a movement already trying to ditch the app. Users have unearthed co-founder Ayman Hariri's shady past where a company he headed up violated worker's human rights, including abandoning them at desert camps. While Vero says Hariri wasn't a part of the company when those things happened, the backlash against him has caused #DelteVero to start trending.
Other users are concerned with Vero's vague statements on what it can do with user data and content. When you sign up, you grant the app “a limited, royalty-free, sublicensable, transferable, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, worldwide license to use, reproduce, modify, publish, list information regarding, translate, distribute, syndicate, publicly perform, publicly display, make derivative works of, or otherwise use your User Content.” I'm not a lawyer but that doesn't sound great. Those concerned with owning their content, especially creatives and influencers, are wary of sharing their work on the platform.
Only time will tell if Vero actually catches on, but hopefully it doesn't become completely irrelevant before my account is activated.