This weekend, it felt like everyone was talking about Vero. But what is it, whats the deal, and should you sign up?
Vero is a social network set up because the creators were tired of other social networks using algorithms, etc, to filter out what you chose to follow. Vero means truth in Esperanto, and their manifesto says that they want to make a truly social network. It was founded in 2013 and launched in 2015 but has only really been noticed by the average user in the last week – probably due to their announcement that the first million users will have free access for life.
The interesting thing about Vero is that it has different levels of privacy, depending on who you want to share posts with. You can choose to follow users, or connect for those people that you know a little better. Vero allows you to categorise the people that you connect with into acquaintances, friends and close friends. This feature feels more like how Livejournal (and even Facebook) allows you to share your posts with specific groups.
Every post made on Vero (at the time of posting) has a focus – you can’t just post a random message like you would on Twitter. You can post a photo, a link, what you’re currently listening to, what you’re watching, what you’re reading or where you are to share with the people following you.
Vero’s business model will be to charge users an annual subscription fee and businesses will be charged a transaction fee for using the Buy Now feature to keep the site ad free. We’ve seen something similar launched in 2012 called App.net, which charged users a subscription fee. However, App.net only lasted for a few years – in 2014, the founders announced that they weren’t making enough in subscriptions to retain staff to keep developing new features, and in 2017, it was fully shut down.
There has been some discussion (and, lets face it, scaremongering) on Twitter and other social media that the terms and conditions of Vero are disadvantageous for the user, but from an initial look (disclaimer: we’re not lawyers so you should make your own decision on the t&c’s), they don’t look too much different to the t&c’s you’ve already agreed to in other platforms. Vero have updated the language used as they realized from the discussions online that they were a little confusing.
Vero currently has a few issues due to the popularity this weekend, but it will be interesting to see whether they will be able to keep users, or whether the initial problems will put people off. This initial popularity does show that users want to just use a social network in a chronological way with no ads, but will this be a sustainable model for Vero?
Vero is mobile only at the moment, so you’ll need to download the app to sign up. Head to vero.co for more information.
Image taken from Vero’s website