Vero is a social media platform that has garnered a lot of media attention due to its impressive growth to 3 million users within days. This has sparked a debate about whether the app has the potential to be a major contender in the social media competitive landscape. Pulse discussed the new, exciting app with our co-founder and CEO, Christoph Kastenholz. Read below to learn about the implications the app may have on the industry.
What is Vero?
Vero is a social media app that has been hyped over the past few days, becoming the number 1 downloaded app across the USA, Australia and Canada, and the number 2 in countries including Germany and the United Kingdom. It is estimated that Vero has been downloaded over 1,700,000 times over the past 30 days, counting downloads from both Google Play and the App store.
Interestingly, the company behind the app launched as early as 2013, and the app itself has been available since 2015. Therefore, it is not a new app that has come out of nowhere, despite its sudden media attention.
Who is behind Vero?
Lebanese business man Ayman Hariri is the man behind Vero. His father was the Prime Minister of Lebanon until 2004 and his half-brother has been the Lebanese prime minister since 2016.
How does Vero differ from Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, & Co?
What differentiates Vero is that users can post a wider variety of content, including photos, videos, music, movies, books, links, and places. At the same time, users can specify who sees certain content. Audiences can select and cluster their network into categories such as “close friend,” “friend,” “acquaintance,” and “follower.”
Vero promises to be advertising and algorithm-free, meaning that there will be no paid ads running on the social network and posts will be shown purely chronologically.
As many as 400 million devices have used adblock technology in 2017 (Adweek), banning any unwanted direct brand messages from the user experience. Therefore, Vero’s decision to ban this unwanted content and address the subject head-on could be seen as an advantage of the platform.
Users globally have become irritated with the newly introduced Instagram algorithm. In practice, this algorithm rates the relevance of a post to a certain user, and will then show those posts high up on their feed. However, this has led to many Instagram creators losing reach on their posts, creating backlash. Vero promises to be algorithm-free, thus also addressing this dissatisfaction users have with Instagram directly.
In my view, this will become a challenge should the app grow to a vast user base, as most social media networks including Instagram are introducing algorithms once the bulk of content becomes highly saturated in order to not overwhelm the user.
On top of this, Vero has announced that brands will be able to offer in-app purchases though a “buy-now button.” This helpful feature has not yet been enabled on most other social networks.
What sparked this surge of Vero over the past days?
It is estimated that Vero surged from 1 million to 3 million users within the past couple of days alone. Looking at the data present under the tag #Vero, it is highly interesting that many social influencers have posted about Vero. Their publicity and spread of awareness seems to have been a key driver of the growth in users. This has then turned into a snow-ball effect with smaller users recommending the app to each other.
Is there space for influencers on Vero? Do you think influencer marketing could flourish on the app?
Successful creators prioritize content and entertainment of their audience over revenue potential. The latter eventually follows.
Influencer marketing as a concept has not been invented by social media, but rather follows the fundamental principle of peer-to-peer recommendations. Thus, social media offers a platform for this type of marketing, and should Vero grow, it may very well have interesting audiences for brands.
What could be particularly interesting is that creators can selectively push posts to individual audiences, closer friends or just their followers. This could be an opportunity to more precisely target messages and thus could be a value-add in regard to influencer marketing.
All in all, I see an opportunity for influencer marketing on Vero should the app continue to gain users.
Will Vero last?
The spike in users on Vero is challenging the server capacity of the app, making the user experience poor. In my view that is the biggest threat to Vero currently, as it must compete with social media apps that have perfected their interfaces. Whether users appreciate the design, functions and usability of the app will have to show over the comings weeks.
My main takeaway on the bottom line is that although there are a few social media networks dominating the market today, the industry is still changing and users aren’t afraid of trying alternatives to the likes of Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. It will be interesting to see how social media networks adapt to user needs over the coming months and years and whether Vero has a chance of gaining market share.