What is Vero and Why Do I Keep Seeing It?

What is Vero and Why Do I Keep Seeing It?

If you have noticed how many well-known photographers shared about using Vero recently, you aren’t alone. Here is a summary of what has made the latest social media trend so popular.

It has been all over social media this week. I first noticed it when a handful of photographers I follow shared on their Instagram stories that they were trying out Vero, the newest social media platform. It then trickled its way down to local photographers, stating how they are trying this new app and how you should too. Every day it is growing exponentially. And although Vero didn't create the platform for only photographers, it might be an excellent future option for us.

Vero was created by billionaire Ayman Hariri in 2015 because of his frustration with the user experience of Facebook and Twitter. He believed that the growing number of advertisements were taking over the mainstream options and the complicated algorithms created an experience that wasn’t authentic. He also noticed that the general function of sharing everything you post with every follower you have inhibited people from being genuine in their posts. In response, he started Vero, an alternative concept to social media.

So what makes Vero different? First, let’s talk about the user experience. Hariri believed that social media should let you be yourself. To do this, he has designed Vero to break up your followers into four categories: follower, acquaintance, friend, and close friend. When you share something, you can select which level of friend you want to be able to see the post, which in theory will allow you to be yourself to a greater degree. Vero’s website says it this way:

Most social networks reduce everyone to a friend or a follower. This encourages us to only share the parts of our lives we think are the most interesting. When you can control who sees what, you can behave in a way that is more natural, which we believe ends up being better for you.

Hariri also removed advertisements completely, which in turn means that there is no data mining or algorithms. Everything is simple. Your feed is always organized by post times in reverse chronological order. With no advertisements allowed, Vero will make money in a few different ways. First of all, they will eventually charge a yearly subscription fee, which is rumored to be around $5. They also will charge a transaction fee on any “Buy Now” posts. So, a business will be able to offer products to their followers that customers can pay for directly through Vero. Vero will then keep a transaction fee on all payments made through its app.

What does this mean for photographers? The response to Vero has been broad. Many have stated that the last thing they need is another social media platform to manage. The app is also very inconsistent right now, probably due to the number of users suddenly downloading it. On the other side of the coin, Vero has some appeal, especially if it takes off as some of the other big-name platforms have. The no advertisement and no algorithm plan makes sense for business owners who feel Facebook has blocked users from their business pages. The app is also beautiful and seems ideal for sharing photos or making product offerings to clients. Lastly, it's important to consider the value of joining the next trend in its early stages. Often people wait a few years to see if these ideas work out, and by then you are too far behind the others who started marketing on the app in its beginning. 

Vero is currently the most recently downloaded free app in the Apple App Store. They are offering free subscriptions for life for their first 1,000,000 users, so if you are considering giving this new platform a shot, now is the time.

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49 Comments

Alex Armitage's picture

I got on before it blew up and I'm still testing the waters. The last few days it's been complete garbage and unusable. Which is typical for exploding cloud based apps and just needs time. Still, haven't been able to use it for 2 days.

Alex Armitage's picture

Yeah I've been following them on twitter.

Michael Holst's picture

Also the way it displays photos drive's me nuts. There's color surrounding your image which shouldn't happen. It's layout is too busy when it should be providing a simple showcasing platform for work.

Alex Armitage's picture

I personally don't mind the bordered layout. Obviously it's different than the white background of every other app, but I'm open to it

Michael Holst's picture

The purple/green border doesn't mesh well with certain types of photos and colors IMO.

Crystal Provencher's picture

I downloaded the weekend it blew up. I had a few brief hours to look around prior to everything crashing haha

Umar Junaid's picture

Did you read the Terms of Service? Giving away your pictures royalty free...Section 2.1

"...you hereby do and shall grant Vero a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, transferable right to use, modify, reproduce, and display such Customer Data (including all related intellectual property rights) to (i) provide the Services and (ii) improve the Services’ ability to deliver web and application analytics services to you."

Not to mention, there is no way currently to get out or delete your account. Just an FYI. To each their own.

Umar Junaid's picture

This is also putting aside the huge controversy for its CEO's labor trafficking issues in Saudi Arabia

Sean Pierce's picture

Every social media has this TOS in similar words, it's to protect themselves, it's not like they are going to sell anyone's images. They alter images by resizing them so their TOS gives them the right to do that.

Umar Junaid's picture

True. Although Instagram explicitly states that it does not own any rights to the content and has a privacy policy that the content is subject to. Again, not a lawyer, so wouldnt know too much about these things.

"Instagram does not claim ownership of any Content that you post on or through the Service. Instead, you hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use the Content that you post on or through the Service, subject to the Service's Privacy Policy, available here http://instagram.com/legal/privacy/, including but not limited to sections 3 ("Sharing of Your Information"), 4 ("How We Store Your Information"), and 5 ("Your Choices About Your Information")."

Vero says the same:

"You are and shall remain the owner of the User Content (as defined in Section 2 below) you create, provide or otherwise make available through the Service and Vero claims no ownership rights to your User Content; however, in this Agreement you grant Vero a limited license to your User Content to: (a) provide the Service; and (b) to use your User Content for the limited uses identified in our Privacy Policy. "

Correct. All commercial platforms use a similar TOS.

This wording is required. Without it, you could, theoretically, upload a photo and then sue them for storing and sharing your image to your audience from their server.

To delete your account you have to click on the Dashboard icon, then click on the question mark (upper left) and then select from the Drop down "Choose a Department" and then select Delete my account. I did that a few days ago but they replied that they are so overwhelmed that they will delete the account when possible.

For me if they take the time to reply to an email, I think it should be easier to just delete my account. Doesn't seem like a professional service. Not to mention it's riddled with porn.

Umar Junaid's picture

Thats good to know. I just deleted the app from the phone, it was barely even logging me on. I'll wait until its stable to actually delete the account properly. Thanks!

Jeff Gillisroy's picture

Guy with no background in software wants to replace Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google Photos. Good luck!

He actually has a computer science degree.
You do realise that half of today apps and software is also founded by people with no background in software.

Jeff Gillisroy's picture

Oh, he's trying to replace half the apps, is he? Not the ones I mentioned? Not the ones already established on pretty groundbreaking insights into either software engineering or social interaction? He's not just tweeking the the equation on the back of stripping all rights and privacies from users? That's not what this is?

I'll just wait right here for you to publish a revised version of your comment. One that makes a little more sense; a little "tweeking" should do it.

Jeff Gillisroy's picture

Well, apparently it's you.

Jeff McCollough's picture

Lol whut? You're not making any sense haha.

David Love's picture

Facebook and their Instagram shite of screwing reach is pushing people to better alternatives and it's a welcome site. I just wish it had a desktop version cause I hate having to use my phone all the time.

Can't get it to load!

michael buehrle's picture

i don't even see it in the app store

Jason Lorette's picture

I've signed up but I'm not diving in too deep just yet...I like what it's going for, we'll see, I'm in and made the "free" cut so I'll see if it takes off. I did send a support request this morning and had a response within 30 minutes which was impressive (you can't even get a response from someone at FB).

Cody Schultz's picture

I got on it shortly before it blew up, and have been posting once or twice a day when I can get on. My hopes are that I can actually grow on there - especially if it lasts - as I struggle to get any traction with Instagram. Guess we can only wait and see...

Refrac Sean's picture

A viable alternative to Instagram is very desirable, I'm IN!
Maybe if all the photographers jump on the bandwagon we will create a phototographer-centric community that doesn't suck!

The need to be "social" while online is a sign of a sick society. Electronic interactions with total strangers results in opportunities for exploitation, abuse, marketing, invasion of privacy and as we have all seen, government and corporate abuse. We used to talk to each other - in person. Now, we "chat" while in the same room - across screens. It's utterly ridiculous, but a strong signal that our society is sick. While I like the idea of no ads, I pretty much despise social media in all forms for this reason and there are many more reasons to reconsider whether you should stick with social media, or just walk away. The real world is not online. Americans in particular are infatuated with screens. The life you are NOT living because you are spending your waking hours checking a screen is a life you will NEVER get back (time lost, life energy wasted). I've been online since the very early days (nearly 40 years, for real) and I will never replace what I've now lost with the thousands of hours spent staring at screens. As a research tool, the Internet has enormous capability and power, but as a social "network" platform, it will always be seriously lacking in real life. And it has many security flaws, privacy issues, loopholes and exploits that can make whatever you choose to share very dangerous sometime in your life. I hope Vero kills Facebook, but don't let your online digital life become your REAL life.

Chad D's picture

agree but when I had a business before internet we had yellow page folks visiting us all the time the local papers visiting us magazines visiting us and so so so many more for advertising

many of us are looking at this from a advertising point :)

but again agree with you :) the thing would be is how many are using it for business and not attached so much or using it for some kinda justification and pat on the back giving a false sense of I am doing OK :)

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