What is Vero and should you download it? This week, you may have noticed your social feeds become awash with clued-up friends and creators asking you to follow them on Vero, their brand spanking new social media channel. Whether you’ve downloaded it already or you’re holding off, here are seven things you need to know:

  1. Firstly it’s not that fresh. It’s actually been around since 2015, set up by a trio made up of Lebanese billionaire Ayman Hariri, movie mogul Motaz Nabulsi and venture capitalist Scott Birnbaum in an effort to build the next Instagram. The fresh hype has not been without hiccups though, with increased interest causing it to stop working. Vero’s own Twitter accounts have been pushing out apologies and things seem to be getting moving again.
  2. It’s free! Kind of… not really. The first million users have indeed been promised their subscription will be “free for life”. For those next in line (if there are any) a membership fee will apply. How much is this? Your guess is as good as mine. With the current interest, I’m sure prices will be available soon.
  3. No ads! Clearly, this is one of the major pulls for social media users looking for an alternative to the mainstream. From the outset, Vero has been clear about their subscription model, which is designed to keep feeds free from advertising and the focus on the creative content. That doesn’t mean there’s no promotion at all, pages will be able to include links to external sites and will be able to pay for call-to-action buttons such as “Buy Now”.
  4. The feed is presented in chronological order, meaning there is no algorithm. On this Vero is simply says “We don’t curate it, manipulate it, insert advertising in it, or hold back posts”, meaning what your friends post is what you see. We’ll see how long they can sustain this while maintaining users’ interest.
  5. How does it work? Vero blends many of the features we all know and love. You can connect with people in your contacts and use the search functionality. Hashtags can be used to search for trending topics. And, of course, you can post photos, links, videos and the things you’d expect to. One different and interesting feature is the “search” home page, which features curated content in the form of the Editor’s Pick section, and featured products, which are available to purchase within the app.
  6. There’s space for brands to have profiles too. Whether you should or not remains to be seen. With influencers flocking to the channel and the press falling over themselves to be up-to-date, it’s easy to see why brands would be tempted. For now though, it may be best to grab your profile and hold back on ploughing in precious resources until the dust has settled – it may be gone next week.
  7. A hot new space for Influencers? For now yes, by Spring – maybe not. With so many influencers out there, it’s important for them to stay on to top of trends. While many are creating accounts and letting you know about it on their much-loved mainstream channels, no one’s actually moving away from their main income generators.

Is Vero the next big thing? Maybe, but at this stage, media hype aside, it’s done little to demonstrate that it’ll be anything more than a flash in the pan. That said, we love a good surprise so we’ll be hedging our bets and grabbing the profiles we need before the fee kicks in. We probably won’t be too active though, see you on Facebook!

Give it a go for yourself: www.vero.co