If you are anything like me, the latest and constant changing Instagram and Facebook algorithm is on your last nerve. Do you recall the last time you said, "Oh cool, a new Instagram algorithm!" or anticipated positive changes coming from the social media giant?
As photographers, we've worked hard to build audiences and to take beautiful photographs but there is big brother who has the final say on your fate. From shadow banning to selecting who should see your posts, Instagram continually downgrades a once fun app into something we've grown to dislike.
- ALGORITHM: The algorithm serves no real purpose to anyone other than Facebook and Instagram. Many report that the average is 15% reach. If you have 1000 followers, about 150 of them might see the image. The entire point of Instagram was to see the images INSTA-ntly. Currently, they decide who will see your posts, when they'll see it, and if they'll see your content at all.
I may not be active on many of my followers' accounts but I'd still like to see what's happening in their lives. As a photographer, I want to see images from all accounts whether we have regular engagement with each other or not. I'd like for other accounts to see my work with or without the blessing of Instagram.
- FREE (FOR NOW): Vero claims the first one million downloads are free for life. After that, there is an annual fee of "a few cups of coffee." My guess is that they mean drip coffee served by a guy with a man bun for $7 a cup vs. a cup from a donut shop. Either way, join now to avoid that fee no matter what it is.
- NO MORE ADS (SPYING): You're having a nice conversation about taking a summer trip to Spain and then suddenly ads appear on your FB and IG feed about Spanish Vacations? Yeah, that's called data-mining and Vero says that will stop because of the subscription service they'll have in place. They'll also monetize the app by charging a small amount for in-app purchases.
- ARTIST FAVORED: You take the time to photograph something and only 15% of your followers see it? No! This weekend they estimate over 500,000 people downloaded the app on the iOS platform alone. Photographers are driving the service up the charts! Who cares if you have 10K followers on Instagram when only about 1,500 of them will see it. On Vero, 1500 followers mean 1500 have the chance to view your image.
Furthermore, I haven't seen noticeable downgrades in image quality at Vero unlike Facebook and Instagram's compression methods.
- FACEBOOK HAS TOO MUCH CONTROL: They do have too much control. Anyone disagree? A little breakup and shakeup is nice.
- TAKES LITTLE TIME: Assuming the servers are up and running again, it does not take much time to upload your content to Vero. New YouTube video? Link to it from your Vero. new Instagram post? Upload it on Vero, and if you want, place a link in the comments.
- LINK TO YOUR CONTENT: As creatives, this is ultra-important and necessary. Do you sell prints or workshops? Do you want to show a BTS video on YouTube and make it easy for the followers to click it? Place your link in the content to in-app purchases. If you can eliminate any barriers for the potential buyer, this can be huge.
- EDITING FEATURES: Big on filters? They have over 15 filters that rival Instagram and settings to adjust your image. You can also edit images in other apps, as we've done with Instagram and then upload them.
- RESERVE YOUR NAME: At the very least, reserve your name. If Vero fails, you don't lose anything. If it soars and makes a dent on Instagram's market, then you have your name picked out and it's on brand. Remember all the people who grabbed good names on Instagram and now have a huge following?
- TOTAL CONTROL: They say no algorithm! You are in control with four settings: Close Friends, Friends, Acquaintances, and Followers. You can theoretically post personal and professional images within one username. That way your clients don't have to see the crazy weekend photographs.
- BECAUSE IT'S A NICE THREAT TO FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM: I consider what Instagram is doing as theft. You engage with your audience and build the audience. Instagram comes in and takes away what you've built and sells it back to you in the form of ads. Sure it's a free app, but as my dad says, "there's nothing more expensive than free." What are you giving up by using the Instagram platform for free? Privacy? Access? As photographers, we should support anyone that come in and challenge the big guy on the block. Competition is healthy.
Is Vero - True Social Media a perfect app that works effortlessly? No, but it's good enough that over 500,000 of us flocked to iOS store alone to download Vero (in a 24 hour period). About one week ago it ranked so low that it didn't even appear in the store's search results and now one of the most downloaded apps.
Anything that stages a real threat to Instagram should be supported and used. My guess is that the good folks at the Instagram headquarters had an emergency meeting Monday morning after they heard the stats on Vero. If this means that our support in Vero forces Instagram to change some of its algorithm policies, it's worth that alone!
Image Usage: There is an issue with copyrights that has many photographers worried (including me). According to their privacy settings:
If you post on Vero, you hereby grant, and you represent and warrant that you have all rights necessary to grant, to Vero 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, including (without limitation) your name, voice, and/or likeness as it is contained within your User Content, in whole or in part, and in any form, media or technology, whether now known or hereafter developed.
What that means is they have the right to do anything with our images, but will not sell them to a third party like Coca-Cola, etc... However, you might see your image on a billboard advertising the Vero App platform. By protesting this aspect of the app, I hope they have a change of mind and remove the policy. It's an easier change to implement vs. Instagram's entire algorithm policy being changed. Post with caution.
You won't have to crop your images but there are options of cropping within the app. Many are also saying that image quality on Vero isn't an issue like it is on Instagram.
Overall, Vero is an app worth downloading and supporting. Until now, no real threat to the Facebook reign had come to surface and I'm certain Vero is on their radar across Instagram headquarters. Until now, Instagram didn't care if you hated their Instagram changes because there was no real alternative. Vero's rise in popularity is a direct reflection of our growing frustration with Instagram.
What do I think will happen? Instagram will likely lift many of the features and implement them within its own app. They have a history of stealing ideas and incorporating them into its growth strategy. Facebook and Instagram usually buy out any app service if it's considered a threat. In this case, we have a unique situation where it's billionaire vs. billionaire. Vero's growth since 2015 wasn't even worth discussion until this weekend when the app surged from irrelevant placements to number one.
Vero appears very slow.
Its blew up over the past week. So the servers are unable to keep up at the present moment.
1. Does anyone talking about "algorithm" even know what that even entitles? Or is it all "I think" this is what is happening? (You don't work for them)
2. Click the search button and right on the front page is "Products" or ads
3. Free app but its stealing, save me the BS. If you want to talk stealing they ripped off Snapchat.
"Does anyone talking about "algorithm" even know what that even entitles?"
Haha I was thinking the same thing. I follow a couple hundred people on Instagram and I have no problem seeing their content. I wonder how much of the problem is this mysterious "algorithm" voodoo vs. the fact that some people are following thousands of people just to keep their thousands of followers. The whole "follow-for-follow" crap is what started to ruin Instagram, not algorithms. That's not the platform's doing, that's people ruining it all by themselves. When you're following thousands of people are you really able to keep up with all that content? Of course you're going to miss some stuff. If anything I've noticed that the algorithm on Instagram actually helps me keep up with content, instead of having to scroll past the top 15 most recent posts over and over again just to pick up where I left off, I've noticed that Instagram pushes stuff I've already seen further down in my feed and moves posts I haven't seen further to the top. I'm actually wondering if the algorithm is just too smart for some of the people using it. Wouldn't that be funny.
Also, this video comes off as more of an ad than an honest assessment of a new platform. The issue is with how definitive some of these statements are: "NO more ads!" "Artists favored!". That may all be true for now but the video seems to be cheer-leading the idea that this is some new panacea that will remain statically perfect forever and ever. Seriously, how many of the current platforms said that kind of stuff when they started and then started rolling out ads when they realized they couldn't sustain it otherwise? I'm all for new avenues and I do like the idea of competition to keep the others on their toes, but the fact is all of this falls under the "remains to be seen" category.
As a person with just above 1000 followers on IG I have seen a clear drop in engagment and follower growth during the latest 6 months to a year. After each algorithm change it gets worse for us with smaller accounts. 6months ago I regularly got 300 likes or more on my posts nowadays I’m happy if I break 200 on similar images. The algorithm have really fucked us small accounts and that is not a ”feeling” there is plenty of stats and graphs you can read and clearly see how it have changed. I’ve basically given up in IG, its not worth the time anymore. Just use it to watch other peoples work now.
I also miss a lot of content of smaller creators I follow since I only get content from the large accs with 1mill followers. Every morning it is the same three accs at the top of my feed. All three have over 1mill followers. There is never any small accs I get to see first.
I’m going to try vero, and as said in the article, even if it fails it may very well force instagram to actually listen to the people and get their shit together.
<Insert wildly accusatorial comments about Vero's Saudi capital $$$, and Russian developers>
<Insert meme of MJ eating popcorn>
You mean the app owned by some Lebanese billionaire who was accused of not paying workers in one of his other companies? Skip.
I downloaded Vero last week. I like the layout style, etc. Got off instagram 6 months ago. My art projects are more for enjoyment and exploring creativity. I am increasingly irritated with facebook for the reasons mentioned in the video. Of course any business model (with shareholders) like facebook is creating shareholder value. Simple profit. I doubt anyone thought the idea of “BIG BROTHER” would turn into Leviathan. The old saying about the “Golden Rule”, “who ever has the gold makes the rules” .
No spying? I heard they want your phone number when you register.....And to be honest, IG was cool and got worst over the years, 500px was cool once and is just a pile of sh*t these days. Do you think if that thing is goin to explode, they get millions of user data, phone nummbers and stuff, that its going to stay the same? No effing way.
Soon they will start to change this, a bit later they change that etc etc. In a few years we will have articles on fstoppers like: 10 reasone why vero sucks, 10 reasons why vero is bad for your photobuisness.
I might be wrong and people will get an app thats actually good and worth using. Will see what the future brings.
Have a nice weekend everyone!
The phone number thing is supposed to be a way to keep bots off of it. I havent gotten any random phone calls yet
I deleted Vero already. I don´t like the interface design. And it is quiet complicated in think.
the colors drive me nuts
Yeah, but have you been able to delete your account? Hint: you can't.
So far the only thing that interests me about Vero is how they've pulled off this marketing campaign?
The absolute blitz during the last week of photographers and photography related websites telling me that Vero is "a thing" and that I need to join immediately or be forever left out and uncool has been staggering.
hahahah I thought the same thing :) MAN I need to know what they did to go that viral that quick talk about winning the lottery OR paying someone etc.
Will say I saw it from Joe Rogan and he reaches millions.
Astroturfing. It's meant to look organic but a few key influencers are being paid. I have no doubt.
It seems we're bumping into one another, Mr. Azami! I recently left a comment on your YouTube channel in which I'm appreciative of your replying. :-)
Concerning Vero...I've been an active member, since February 25, 2018 and already there is spam in the comments for the Vero profile asking for "Follower Trains" and "Like for Likes." It seems people can't have nice things. Don't get started on the hashtags. You guessed it. The popular tags on the Stream page is being hijacked. Tags relevant to male models and men's fashion are spam content with images of women.
Yup. Yup. History repeats itself. These people are mistreating and abusing Vero as their second Instagram. I have a problem with that. I'm hoping Vero will fix or enact a statement that strongly discourages this kind of antisocial behavior. I've already been hit with a few follow/unfollow. Sometimes, this could be a result of people deciding to delete their profile. They follow and only to unfollow the next day.
I was fed up with Instagram and Facebook by proxy and their pay to play model. Factor in the many sponsored product posts, ads, and the overall excess vanity and narcissism from the twats, who constant post [shirtless] selfies and "belfies." It's borderline escort service with links in the bio leading to Patreon and OnlyFans. This is somewhat common for male models or "Instagram male models" and fitness male models.
I primarily photography men and I ran into these types of profiles commonly. Mind you—when I had my Instagram, I don't following anyone, but I do tap around a lot; it's like falling into the rabbit hole and regretting content I saw that warrants bleach for my eyes. I'm being overly dramatic. You get my point. It's too much!!!
You bet I'm going to continue being an active and helpful member on Vero. I really enjoy the app and platform. As Mr. Azami pointed out, you can upload higher resolution images on Vero, exceeding the 1080 pixels width limitation of Instagram. I've uploaded 1440 pixels width @ 600 PPI @ JPEG 80/85 and my image(s) look great on my Google Pixel XL.
Anyway...please give Vero a chance. Only time will tell. Check again in the next six months.
Ronald N. Tan
Mr. Tan, I agree and like your comments. My experience mirrors your. I posted to “test” the site. I put some “hard R rated” ones. BAM BAM, all kinds of bad stuff showed up,,,,I took them down and only posting PG type shots....but I will stay with VERO to see if they get the kinks out, pun intended. David Pouge, former tech writer for NYT was not to big on this app. Not sure he got this right this time
David Pogue just wrote a compelling article trashing Vero. I agree we need an Instagram alternative, but I don't think Vero is it.
I trust David Pogue.
Understandably Vero is not perfect in its current state and there is the shady past of the billionaire. I don't trust Zuckerberg either but for other reasons. At the moment IG/FB has a full control of the market, and they'll do anything they want. Vero is the first real threat to this giant, and I don't feel it's Vero's functionality that propelled it to number 1. Instead, it's a growing distaste for Instagram that has eyes wandering for something better. I've heard people saying Vero would be a great partner for Amazon. Lets see what happens. People have the freedom to support any platform they wish, but for many of us we are excited about the possibility of Instagram having some competition.
David Pogue is a trusted journalist. So nopety nope nope to this app.
So now they say "due to an unbelievable demand" our servers are down. So I guess no more free downloads? Not sure I believe any "social" platform to be genuine for the user.
The site actually says,
«DUE TO EXTRAORDINARY DEMAND, VERO EXTENDS “FREE FOR LIFE” OFFER
Vero has surpassed one million registered users.
As promised, our first million users have access to Vero free for life. However, given the service interruptions, we are extending that offer to all new users until further notice.»
If they say so.
Great article! I'm sold and officially on Vero and I'm already posting... Let's connect with our fellow Fstoppers. Search 'Rodney Omeokachie'. l'll follow back.
Personally, I despise all forms of social "media". Due to lack of privacy protection, ethics, advertisements and abuse by both personal and business users of my "media" information (posts, comments, photos, personal information, etc.) the use of social media has become a gateway for all things undesirable. Therefore, I do not use FB, Instagram, Snapchat, Reddit, Vero or anything else. I feel no need to "share" the most intimate details of my life, nor do I find that what I've see shared as being worth reading. Retaining my identity, privacy and personal history has now become the driving force of the 21st century for archaic throwbacks like myself. It's literally nobody's else's business to capture and share everything about my own life. As a "social platform", all forms of social media are replete with ridiculous and inane interactions with total strangers that have the same level of meaning as a constant stream of water being poured on a flat rock. It is a alternate reality where nobody is really real, where participants only see and share only what they want others to see, while opening oneself up to all kinds of invasions of privacy, autonomy and anonymity, without which we will lose our democracy. Nobody needs to know who you are to retain their rights, opinions or protections, but in the online world, this has now become a demand. Participants are willingly giving a way a lot more then they realize.
The copyright issue is a lot more serious than algorithm and advertisement (which can be counted as an opportunity for photographers to promote their photos and profile)
Giving it a try right now.
Deleted my account there when I found out about the founder''s totally ****** business practices. Why support that kind of person? https://www.thedailybeast.com/as-vero-blows-up-backlash-builds-against-s...
Maybe you should take time to read a little more...
I got on board as soon as their servers would allow. It sure seems like it's losing steam now.
Might not want to sign up immediately.
Copycats do not usually survive. It is clearly a copy of instagram and instagram already got boring...
I want to see new ideas on social media, I dont want more facebook products..
I am currently watching this : https://www.facebook.com/MyLocApp/
Having messaged the page, their director himself told me some of the features they are planning to introduce (not in the first version). The app will slowly progress to their final product which means we'll be getting regular cool feature updates.
I think I should start a youtube channel and discuss their development stage, it sounds so cool it gave me butterflies! What is more impressive is that they are at a pre launch stage and they already have the same facebook page traffic with vero.
I think MyLoc could do a lot. Especially for youtubers/bloggers etc as they will be promoting quality posts within the app.
Where’s the fStoppers app goddamned.
Thanks for putting this together. I jumped into Vero with hesitation but I must admit it is an enjoyable platform. My hard work just looks better there. Now to explore its full feature set...
Is this a paid placement or have the author & fstoppers editors really not been paying attention to why the other sites are warning people away from Vero?