Is Vero the next big social media platform?

Katie Davidson

A UX designer with roots in digital marketing.

Have you heard of the new social media platform: Vero?

Are you looking for a social media platform that is less “media” and more “social”? Do you think other social media platforms are a waste of time, and rather than making you more social, they just eat up your time. Vero a brand-new social media platform promises to be a relationship first social network, and its goal is to help people connect in an authentic way.

Or at least that’s what they claim:

What I think is spectacular about Vero:

This may be a personal bias the first thing I noticed was the absolutely stunning design. The dark blurred backgrounds make images pop. Vero is how I imagine Instagram or Pinterest would look like if the artists were in charge.

I love the ability to restrict who can see my post. Now I know other social media platforms do this, but rather than treating this as an afterthought Vero makes it a mandatory part of the posting process. Before you can make a post live, you have to decide if this is something that should be showed to your close friends, your friends, your acquaintances or your followers.

Screenshot of the different audiences on Vero
Why they might succeed (despite some growing pains):

I’ve seen some really cool social media platforms fail because they couldn’t get any visibility or early adopters. I don’t anticipate that this will be a problem for Vero. Not only have I seen posts about Vero on every platform I participate on, they’ve created a sense of urgency of getting people to join despite some overload issues they’ve been facing. Possibly the most brilliant marketing strategy they’ve implemented is telling potential users for only the first 1 million users will get to join for free.

Vero already created a sense of community. They’ve connected with incredible artists and brands to create unique original content — only on Vero. This gives the platform seriously hipster vibe. The first time I logged into the platform I was encouraged to follow a comic book artist (@AlexRossArt), some photographers, and a spoken word artist. This is a far cry from the featured accounts on Twitter or Instagram.

About half the time I’ve spent on Vero so far I’ve been met with some type of error. Most of my posts have failed to go out. I also keep getting a notification to update my collection – which I can’t do because I keep losing my connection. I’ve clicked on links that go nowhere. Right now the platform is the mess, they can’t keep up with demand and there are some bugs to work out. Despite all this, I’m holding out hope.

The user interface on this platform is spectacular (unlike Snapchat, or most social media startups). It’s easy to use, which means it’s easy to adopt.

Care to join me on Vero?

Why I think it will fail:

I think Vero’s mission is at odds with its interface. Unlike platforms such as Line or WhatsApp that focus simply on connecting people, Vero encourages you to find content and distribute it on its network. This would be perfect for a new platform that welcomed marketers and found an effective way to make money off businesses eager to promote themselves. But instead of having affiliate marketers on the platform, the platform itself is an affiliate marketer. I think this will make celebrities, influential brands, and even small businesses shy away from this platform.

Vero plans on making money through a subscription model, and a “Buy Now” feature which will allow businesses to sell products directly from posts. I’m not sure how this is different from Facebook Ads, or ads on any other social media platform. To me, it sounds like they won’t allow ad targeting, but will still allow ads.

I don’t think Vero understands how social media marketing works, or how they’ve set up their platform to be exploited.

Side note: I’ve already had an MLM sales rep try to pitch their product to me. 

Vero feels a bit like Facebook in the early days before they had really figured out what the role of businesses would be on their platform.

If Vero survives, it will look very different from what it promises today. With all the free social media platforms out there I don’t think anybody is going to pay for a social media platform especially one that doesn’t truly solve the root of what makes people feel disconnected online. And we can gleen from experience the only way to have a free social media platform is to allow advertisers who pay to be in front of Vero’s customers.

I would love to see Vero succeed, but I anticipate major changes before that’s possible.

What do you think of Vero?

I would love to hear what you think of Vero. Do you think it will be one of the big guys, destined to be a household name?

Or will it be memorialized in the social media graveyard along with Peach, Friendster, Ello and MySpace?

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