Users are spending far less time on Facebook than they used to, and Mark Zuckerberg believes that may be due to recent changes that have been less popular than initially anticipated. There’s another reason, however, and that’s competition from other social networks. One up and coming social network that may serve to threaten the dominance of Facebook if it continues on its current trajectory is the newcomer – Vero.
The majority of social media networks make their money by flooding users with targeted advertisements and selling data – a process that has become more and more intrusive as time goes on. Vero is taking a different approach, however, by promising to avoid both advertising as well as algorithm-dependent fees.
As of the time of this article, Vero is currently the top app overall on Apple’s App Store as well as the third on Google Play. For such a new app to gain traction so quickly, it’s clear that Vero has something behind it that has really struck a chord with users who are getting sick of the practices of services like Facebook and Instagram.
The meteoric rise of Vero may have actually been fueled by the political environment, with many Facebook users and government officials alike up in arms regarding the alleged manipulation of advertisements on the platform that may have allowed foreign influences to have an effect on the outcome of the United State presidential election. As a platform without any advertising and that doesn’t use your data to provide a modified sort of feed, Vero stands to capture the attention of a market that is becoming incredibly jaded with the kind of influence and the sort of practices that social media giants are currently engaged in.
A manifesto on the Vero website gives an insight into the app’s philosophy and the company’s goal moving forward as they pose a potential threat to the major players in the social media scene.
“People naturally seek connection. That’s why online social networks have been so widely adopted over the past ten years. They offered the promise of constant connection and the means to keep in touch with friends and to share what’s happening in our lives. But as time passed, an imbalance began to form between the interests of the platforms and the best interests of the users…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, so we decided to create something more authentic.”
“We created a social network that lets you be yourself. Hence the name Vero, Meaning Truth. We made our business model subscription-based. Making our users our customers, not advertisers. The greatest social network is the one that already exists between people. Vero’s Mission is to make it available online. Thanks for helping us build a truly social network.”
Vero offers tools that will let users share photos, videos, and music that is fully customizable and allows them to group friends together and adjust what you share based on the groupings. Users can group their followers into categories called Loops, such as Close Friends, Friends, or Acquaintances. The application is also subscription based, so Vero will be able to make a profit without advertising. Vero is currently offering its first one million subscriptions no annual fee for life, which should help to catapult the network to success.
The company is also very up-front about the sort of data that they’ll collect through the application, and stress that the information they take into account regarding activity is used for the user experience rather than to sell to advertisers.
Whether Vero will actually be a social network that can rival the likes of Facebook and Instagram remains to be seen, but it’s certainly on a bright path moving forward. By making the users the customer rather than the product, the app may stand to become a major force in the social media arena.