Vero Won’t Replace Instagram for Photographers, and Here Is Why

Vero Won’t Replace Instagram for Photographers, and Here Is Why

If you go on YouTube, one of the most common videos you will see is how Vero is beating Instagram. There are a lot of positive things to say about Vero, however, it is unlikely to ever reach the same popularity as Instagram. If anything, Vero’s popularity will die down with the hype.

Everyone is making videos about Vero. The platform is seeing a huge influx of new users and for good reason: it promises to do things differently. Just like a political candidate before an election: vote for me and you will live better tomorrow. Except, that’s not quite how it works.

Remember Clubhouse?

Social media platforms that ride a massive hype wave tend to die down in a few months. Perhaps one good example would be Clubhouse. It was supposed to be an ethical, invite-only social media platform that “revolutionized” the way we behave online. Clubhouse promised an unparalleled voice chat experience, which, to many, meant human interaction. During COVID, that was much needed. Celebrities, influencers, and everyone who was bothered decided to join. With such a huge wave of popularity came a huge loss of aforementioned popularity just a few months down the road. Numbers show that Clubhouse installs were at an all-time high in Feb 2021 at nearly 10 million. March 2021 saw them go down to around 2.5 million. At the same time, the user base was going down by 70%. At the end of the day, we have a platform that died as quickly as it came alive.

The social media graveyard has other titans, such as Google+, MySpace, Vine, and so on. 

But Vero is not dead, yet. I truly wish it won’t ever be dead, as it has a lot of good ideas going for it. However, with the initial wave of hype comes the wave of users leaving. The first hype started to circulate in 2018, when Vero saw 150,000 downloads in late February. By early March 2018, it was up to 2 million. People who hated Facebook and came to Vero for something better were soon disappointed with some of the terms and conditions. Turns out, Vero had more control than initially expected.  

Benefits of Vero

Developed by a talented team, Vero promises to change the way we experience social media by being a direct competitor of giants such as Facebook and Instagram. Here are the ways Vero is promising to stand out from the crowd.

Made for photographers, Vero allows you to post full-resolution files to their platform. While that is definitely a benefit for photographers, I doubt it will be of much interest to anyone who doesn’t pixel-peep. Nonetheless, there is a benefit to posting full-resolution files, as it allows you to experience the image more deeply. I hardly ever can be bothered to upload a full-resolution 50 MB file to the internet. Not only is it a very bad use of space on the server, but also unnecessary bandwidth usage. If you know how to export the file in web res for Instagram and sharpen it, you can still show good detail at 1,600 px long edge.

A big benefit of Vero is the privacy. Vero allows you to have posts for various audiences. Something like posting on Facebook to friends as opposed to everyone on Facebook. Vero takes it a step further allowing you to have custom audiences for each post. Suppose you are on vacation and want to post a private selfie with your loved one to your friends and a nicer landscape image to your wide audience — Vero lets you do just that. This feature is something more social media platforms should introduce, as it gets pretty annoying trying to manage two accounts, one private and one public. Also, it sucks to decline to follow requests on the private, as I always feel like people will be offended by it.

Finally, you can customize your feed. There are several post types on Vero that users can pick. They all carry different types of content, something reminiscent of Facebook, frankly.

Because Vero wants to give power to the user, it will allow you to customize the type of content you see from the people you follow. For example, if I have a friend who takes great pictures but has horrible music taste, I can choose to see only their images and not other posts.

Why Vero Won’t Replace Instagram

All this is excellent, but Vero still won’t replace Instagram. They are up against a giant. Instagram has a much larger user base than Vero, and the people joining Vero are mostly artists who are frustrated with Instagram. Clients, buyers, and creative directors who are all on Instagram can't be bothered to join Vero. The networking potential that Vero offers has very little significance compared to Instagram. The great thing about Instagram is that you can get your content shown to a large following of people you work with or want to work with. When your odd art director goes to the loo, they get Instagram out and scroll the feed. Instagram works for the people who give you money, so why should they invest their time to make a Vero account if they can just spend that time browsing a never-ending content feed on Instagram? So, as far as networking goes, you’re better off with Instagram or even LinkedIn. Vero seems to be a club for artists who don’t want to post Reels.

People Want the Algorithm

Yes, you read that right. Everyone hates the algorithm because they can’t take advantage of it and because it requires creators to constantly adapt to new realities. At the same time, the almightly Instagram algorithm is what makes the platform interesting for the user. It is in Instagram's interest to keep their user on the platform, and the algorithm is designed to do just that. The more time people spend on Instagram, the more ads they will see, and the more revenue Meta will get. The algorithm is made to facilitate that. If the feed was purely chronological, the platform would get boring very very quickly. The reason you are coming back to Instagram is likely the algorithm and that new Reel someone posted.

Closing Thoughts

Will Vero ever push out Instagram? No, probably not. Mostly because the initial hype for it will die down, just like the club of creators who are fed up with Instagram. It sounds stupidly nihilistic, but because Instagram has so many people on it, it can afford to not care about an audience of professional photographers who want stills bumped up as opposed to videos that the rest of the users want. For photographers, Instagram was never a great platform to begin with. Flickr was much more oriented towards the professional photographer crowds. Yet, somehow, Instagram has way more photographers on it than Flickr and the lot. Ultimately, Vero is a great idea, and it would be beneficial if Instagram could add some of the features Vero has. But Vero will likely not become the next Instagram or Facebook.

Log in or register to post comments
44 Comments
Alex Lancashire's picture

I have tried Vero but it is not as good as Instagram. Cannot upload video from my desktop which is my main tool. We will be watching it for changes. It needs to be less "flash" and more simple.

Tom Reichner's picture

Can't upload easily from a desktop? Darn. That right there would make it very unattractive to me. I would think that an upstart platform would try to make things easier for a greater number of potential users, not more difficult. If Very is optimizing everything for use on mobile devices, and use on traditional desktop computers is clunky or limited, then they are shooting themselves in the foot.

Captain Jack R's picture

Actually, you can upload from desktop. It's my preferred way as I already have the images on my computer.

Andy Day's picture

Here's a link to download the desktop app for Mac and Windows: https://brand.vero.co/vero-desktop-beta

Edison Wrzosek's picture

This is COMPLETELY FALSE, as I'm using the desktop app to post my works EXCLUSIVELY without issue. Ever since photographers have begun HAPPILY dumping Instacrap, the pro-Instacrap / Influencer crowd has mobilized to stop it, quite entertaining, if petty, I'd say.

Andy Day's picture

Sometimes I like to imagine what conversations in the comments would be like if they happened face to face.

Alex scratched his chin and frowned. "I can't upload photos to Vero from my desktop," he explained, slightly disappointed.

Leaping to his feet, Edison hurled his coffee cup to the ground, smashing it into pieces, spraying shards of porcelain and the remnants of his beverage everywhere. "THIS IS COMPLETELY FALSE!!!" he screamed, now inches from Alex's face, spit flying from his mouth as he raged with anger. His eyes bulged, his hands trembled, and the vein on his forehead throbbed dangerously. "For me it works EXCLUSIVELY!"

Iain Stanley's picture

Sometimes you can be rather humorous.

Asher Honish's picture

Ha! I love this.

Tom Reichner's picture

.

Hey, Andy

To be accurate, Alex claimed he could not upload videos from his desktop. I don't believe he said anything at all about uploading photos from his desktop.

.

Tom Reichner's picture

What do you mean "completely false"? How can you know if uploading to VERO works on every single desktop computer and every single operating system?

I remember when Instagram supposedly started allowing us to upload directly from our desktops. It happened for some people right away, while other people had to wait a month or three for that feature to become available to them. Then someone like me, who was running a 6 year old operating system, still wasn't able to upload.

Hence, the statement cannot be "completely false". It can only be partially false, because as long as there is one single person who cannot upload to VERO from their desktop, then there is still some truth to that statement that you so vehemently contest.

RU KiddingMe's picture

There have been workarounds for using Instagram on PC and Mac for many years. Emulators such as Blue Stacks can run virtually any mobile app. Browser extensions such as User Agent Switcher can also be utilized to open and/or run mobile applications. Many issues can be overcome with a little research or ask others for assistance.

Daniel Medley's picture

I don't think reasonable people expect Vero to be an Instagram killer. What I suspect will happen is that it may establish itself enough to exist side by side with Instagram. If you're a photographer Vero is a much better platform, albeit a bit clunky at this point.

The argument that clients, buyers, and creative directors can't be bothered to join Vero: I disagree with this; especially once/if Vero gets more users. Rather than wade through the garbage on the typical Instagram algorithmic feed to find the gems, why wouldn't you use a platform that lets you find what you want rather than what they think you want?

Also, you may be surprised how many buyers, clients, and creative directors don't use Instagram.

But, alas, time will tell.

Edison Wrzosek's picture

I 100% concur with this, as in the last few weeks alone, I've seen a great deal of non-photographers and ad agencies opening accounts on Vero to follow the people now moving there, and converse and collaborate with them, as it's a much better platform for those tasks.

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

--- "Everyone hates the algorithm because they can’t take advantage of it and
because it requires creators to constantly adapt to new realities."

False. Everyone hates the algorithm because it's suggesting nonsensical posts. Like puppies and kittens. Or, reels with some idiot doing idiot things for attention. I used to think this was due to user's viewing/engagement habits. It's not. It's IG just throwing shit out there. About a year or two ago, the home feed suggestions actually suggested posts that made sense. In my case, photography related.

--- "The reason you are coming back to Instagram is likely the algorithm and that new Reel someone posted."

False in both counts.

I freakin' hate reels. When on desktop and I see a play or speaker icon, I keep scrolling. When on the app, if I see movement on the post, I keep scrolling.

The reasons for me coming back is because of the:

1. New Following feed. Which is chronological and has no ads. I'm in, then I'm out. I even have it bookmarked that way: https://www.instagram.com/?variant=following

2. Explore page. I never used to pay attention to it. It's so much more useful than the home feed suggestions. Here's a small example of what shows up on my explore page. This is what the home feed suggestions used to do. Notice the text above. Clearly, they know my interests, yet, the home feed suggestions are nonsensical. Puppies and kittens have yet to show up on this page. IG needs to copy/borrow/steal Youtube's home feed algorithm. Youtube has the most relevant data mining suggestions. :D

Thomas Villadsen's picture

Just uninstalled Instagram today. Why would i keep supporting a media who doesn't give a sh*t about my images? It's reels, reels, reels and nothing else. I posted a stupid reel, it has 4000 views, but a beautiful sunrise image has like 30 views and 10 likes. It's absolutely ridiculous. Vero will never replace IG, I agree, but there people at least appreciate your images.

Sam Sims's picture

The quality of the audience you get is way more important than the number of view, likes and subscribes. This especially if you are a creative and want to sell your art to people.

Tom Reichner's picture

I understand what you are saying, and I think I understand how you feel.

But for some of us, Instagram is a research tool that we use to garner information about the subjects we want to photograph. It is not about appreciating or enjoying images. It is not a way to showcase our work. It is just a research tool like Google.

We search for things on it and then we find the people who know about those things and then we can message those people and get useful information from them. That is what Instagram is for. And it works really really great for that purpose!

For instance, if I want to photograph Mountain Kingsnakes in the Sonoran Desert in Arizona, then I can search for images with hashtags such as #mountainkingsnake #lampropeltiszonata #lampropeltis #askingsnake #sonorankingsnake and find images with those hashtags. Then I can message the photographers who took those photos and ask them for help with planning a trip to Arizona for Mountain Kingsnake photography. They get back to me with lots of information, and usually a few of them offer to guide me to the best Mountain Kingsnake locations. THAT is the sensible way to use Instagram.

If you are actually trying to use Instagram to showcase your work and enjoy the work of others, then no wonder you are frustrated with it!

Felix Valeri's picture

Deleted

graphicalman's picture

It is not about replacing Instagram its all about being given a choice.

Lionel Fellay's picture

This article is clearly written by someone that is using Instagram for business, and certainly a bit affraid to loose audience with a new competitor going in a different way, saying right way.

If you have only kids watching kitties, and other kids doing stupid things on the platform ... your audience as a fashion photographer is certainly at risk.

But as a fashion photographer, your production is dedicated to business and vero try to go against the business, so I understand it's not the right solution for you.

For me as a landscape photographer, what a pleasure is to use Vero:

- no BULLSHIT algorithm is showing me only thing that I don't want to see.
- no advertising every 2 images, a so clean experience (but I don't that it would be sustainable on the long way .... )
- no problem any more cropping image in portrait.
- no problem again with the quality of image from instagram.
- I don't miss anymore image from people I have decided to follow by myself.

Ignacio Balbuena's picture

What damage can make have both and see which one will survive? I begun to use Vero a few months back. No ads, no annoying influencers and I can't get a nice criticial feedback from another peers photographers about improvement or different techniques. Instagram?? Im just being bombarding by ads, my content die if is not a reel, If I pass a picture (converted in video) as a reel the platform take it down and Im actually getting less and less engagement from the people.

Barry Strawbridges's picture

This is coming from someone where my Instagram account got banned by the algorithm monster for about eight months.

Vero is serviceable. However, your potential clients or brands aren't on Vero. Those people are on Instragram, Tiktok, Twitter.

No amount of money/ budget Vero's PR company has to pay off Youtubers will make this so. This is no different when Microsoft Mixer and Facebook Gaming wanted to get into the gaming streaming business. They paid off a bunch of Twitch streamers to go over to their services. This got the media's attention. Several articles were written about the downfall of Twitch. After the contracts ran out, they were back on Twitch. Mixer and Facebook Gaming no longer exist.

IGOR BRALGIN's picture

Took a look at the application.

No ads, but installing it users agree that the app shares a lot of user's information (personal and financial) with unknown third parties.

There's no a web access to this social network through using a web browser.

Joe Hogan's picture

see the second post for a link to a desktop beta.

Edison Wrzosek's picture

Incorrect; the sharing of personal and financial data with third-parties is because you can actually use real links and sell stuff within Vero. Run the App Transparency Report on Vero and you'll see it behaves MUCH better than Instacrap. BTW, do you REALLY think this would be any worse than what FACEBOOK and ZUCKERBERG do with your data on Instagram???

Also, there is a desktop app (currently in open beta) for Windows / Mac, and it rocks! And people can view a public, web-viewable version of your Vero feed on a browser, even without a Vero account, so you can send people to your Vero feed without getting them to download anything or create an account, which is 100x better than Instagram for your photography business already.

Matt Mastrandrea's picture

Your statement about facebook's privacy controls is wrong. All you have to do is click the "Friends" button next to or underneath your name (depending on mobile or desktop on a post, and it gives you a vast amount of options on who can see your posts. You can choose from Public, Friends, Friends Except, Specific Friends, Only Me, Custom (a collection of different lists/groups), Acquaintances, and Close Friends.

If your button doesn't say friends, it will say whatever your preferred audience is, but the choice is always right there on your post controls.

Matt Mastrandrea's picture

Your statement about facebook's privacy controls is wrong. All you have to do is click the "Friends" button next to or underneath your name (depending on mobile or desktop on a post, and it gives you a vast amount of options on who can see your posts. You can choose from Public, Friends, Friends Except, Specific Friends, Only Me, Custom (a collection of different lists/groups), Acquaintances, and Close Friends.

Sam Sims's picture

The problem with new platforms, they promise to be better than the popular revenue driven platforms they are competing against but if they ever become anywhere near as popular, they will just inevitably end up full of ads, chasing the trends and abandoning the original supporters of their platforms anyway. Vero, if it survives, will eventually just become like what Instagram is now.

Stvart Klœ's picture

I’ve (albeit briefly) tried Vero recently but have found it difficult to use for discovery when it comes to photography. In the “search” tab or whatever it is, the equivalent of the explore feed, the one thing it doesn’t have is a photography sub section. There’s Music, Movies, TV, etc., but no photography tab.

That’s one thing that I could always count on instagram for, outside of its many, many, many faults. Every time I’ve posted something on Vero it has within seconds received likes from people (how??) but I haven’t yet figured out where they were hanging out that they saw it.

I’m probably just getting old, but I have not found it intuitive.

Edison Wrzosek's picture

Hashtags are the primary method for discovery, they function like they used to on Instagram before algorithms kill that app.

Adam Lee's picture

Vero is still a thing? I remember it made a slight splash a couple years ago for a brief second and then no one used it.

The algorithm literally made me stop scrolling on Instagram. I used to scroll and look at every post every day until I made it to the last thing I had seen previously. Never lost interest and interacted more.

Now a post I've already seen gets shown to me at the top of my feed for a week straight for no reason and I like/comment way less.

LightAffaire Photography's picture

To start posting to another social platform I need an api that allows me to automatically upload an image plus caption and hashtags. I have no time left todo stuff that can and should be easily automated. Leaves me time to interact with other users.

Joe Redski's picture

I tried Vero, and posted a photo but absolutely nobody saw it. Can anyone please tell me how do you get followers on Vero?

Tom Reichner's picture

I would think that if you write very thoughtful, insightful, detailed comments on other people's posts, and send messages to other users offering insightful commentary, then those people will follow you and look at your posts. In other words, if you invest a lot of time and a lot of thought, then you will get returns. If you just want a quick fix, then you will be more a part of the problem than a part of the solution.

Joe Redski's picture

Thank you Tom. I appreciate that.

Kyle Foreman's picture

I've had a Vero account for quite some time now and I'm surprised that recently I seem to be seeing a lot more people talking about it. I have been VERY frustrated with Instagram for the past few months. I have a meager following of just over 1200 followers but I have built that slowly over time. I used to get 60-100 likes on almost every post. Lately it doesn't matter what I post to Insta I'm lucky if I get 20 likes and sometimes I don't even reach double digits. IDK what's changed but it's completely obvious something has. As for Vero I just started posting more often and I easily get double the engagement than I do from Instagram now. IDK if it can compete or if it even wants to compete w/Instagram but right now I am enjoying Vero more.

Lionel Fellay's picture

I'm quiet surprised that the author of this article didn't took any time to take part to the comments below ...

Drazen Cavar's picture

I feel the same, Vero misses some sort of algorithms, chronological order of all posts is disastrously boring, you cannot follow even the most interesting authors.

Tom Reichner's picture

I actually prefer chronological order. That is why, on Instagram, I ignore the "feed" and manually select each one of the people who I follow, go to their profile, and view their posts in order. So much better than just opening up the app and viewing whatever Instagram shows you. And that way I avoid all - yes, all - of the sponsored material.

Drazen Cavar's picture

That's a personal preference. but I did not refer to Instagram as a model, just believe some algorithm is needed. I truly despise current Instagram aggressiveness, but on Vero I am bored. Too many similar photos posted at a similar time of day create a large wave of monotony.

Tom Reichner's picture

.

Well, instead of looking at some feed that VERO gives you, couldn't you take complete control of what you see and search via hashtags and / username?

For instance, when I go to Instagram I have well thought out objectives before I even log in. Today, for instance, I wanted to see all images with the hashtags for Sonoran Shovel-nosed Snakes. So I did searches for:

#sonoranshovelnosedsnake

#shovelnosedsnake

#chionactispalarostris

#palarostris

#sonorapalarostris

That shows me all of the images that have any of those hashtags attached. So I am seeing only those photos of the species that I am researching at the time.

Then I wanted to see what my friend Amy, in Colorado, has been shooting lately, so I search for her by username, which takes me directly to her profile. There, I see all of her posts in chronological order, so I know what she has been shooting of late, because she always posts only recent photos, mostly in the order she takes them in.

Then I want to see what John in Montana has been seeing at the wildlife refuge, so I search for his username and go directly to his profile, where I can view his photos in chronological order, just like I did with Amy's.

Then I wanted to see some photos of American Pika, so I do searches for the latin and common names fo that species, just like I did for the Sonoran Shovel-nosed Snake. Presto! Now I have hundreds upon hundreds of recently posted American Pika photos to review!

And so on and so on and so on. I only see exactly what I want to see on Instagram. I take control of what I look at on Instagram. Why in the world would anyone ever just let Instagram show you whatever it wants to show you? Why let them do that to you? Makes no freaking sense whatsoever. And it is inane to complain about what posts Instagram shows you when you can take charge and go see only what you want to see.

If VERO has searchable hashtags and users, can't you do the same thing on VERO that I just described doing on Instagram? So there is no reason, ever, to be "bored" with what they are showing you - because you can take initiative and show yourself only the exact things you want to see at any given time.

.

Drazen Cavar's picture

Uh, that reminds me of salaried workflow. Everyone has their own preferences, of course. I think for most people algorithms serve to provide them with something expected to be interesting so that they don't spend time mining. I don't know what I would mine for, want something to surprise me or make me interested, that's why I would follow someone who looks as creative and interesting, the algorithm should do the rest.

Douglas LeBlanc's picture

Vero obviously isn't going to pay for a new phone device /plan & phone number so I can use Vero ... screw 'em. Not goin' there.

One should not require a mandatory telephone number to verify you're a human to sign up and use a service on the internet in 2022 and beyond. This is ridiculous. I'm not wasting money on an audist device that doesn't need to exist in the world I exist within.

Andy Hutchinson's picture

What a really strange article. The arguments the author puts forward are like talking points sent to them by Instagram's middle-management.

Firstly, Vero's been around since 2018 and yet you talk about it as if it's some new social media platform. It enjoyed a brief burst of popularity when it first came out, but fizzled. However, since 2018 it has been slowly but surely building a strong community of photographers.

Secondly - Clubhouse was a voice based service. Not exactly a great system for a visual art form like photography and therefore not a huge surprise that most photographers didn't see any value in it.

Thirdly, the algorithm absolutely sucks. I don't want to see random shit in my feed and an advert every third post and some awful reel from a desperate influencer. Blows my mind that you think being fed shit you never asked for is somehow of benefit.

Fourth - the fact that so-called professionals aren't using it is precisely what I like about it. Has it occurred to you that there are millions of hobbyist photographers out there who are just into photos and couldn't give a fuck that the creative director from some branding agency isn't doom-scrolling on the shitter looking for the next big thing.

If photographers like you leave Vero alone it's a benefit. Photographers who like photography and just want to discover new photographers and see awesome new photographs will love the platform. It's not some vacuous marketplace for shilling your tan-and-teal highlights reel like Instagram is and I hope it stays that way.