Come on Vero, we want to know! Where’s all this hype come from?
The social media app has been around since 2013 and raised very little interest. Then in one weekend, it’s like it has launched for the first time and caused so much hype that people are scrabbling around to sign up and figure the app out.
How did all these influencers, bloggers and vloggers suddenly become interested in the app?
And, why are they singing your praises?
Unfortunately us cynical PR folk know that there must be something behind the uptake.
Right, before we continue, let’s back up a minute. Some of you won’t even be aware of what Vero is, and that’s ok, here’s a quick overview to bring you up to speed.
What is Vero?
That’s taken from Vero’s 2015 press release which also reveals that Vero was founded in 2013, not 2015 like everyone has incorrectly reported.
To put it in English, Vero is a blend of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram with influences from Pinterest. It aims to be advert free and charge a subscription fee.
What’s Vero’s unique selling point (USP)?
The only things I can pinpoint are:
- A chronological feed
- Sharing of text/URLs allowed
- No advertising
- Users will have to pay a subscription fee
These features aren’t big enough to distinguish Vero apart from the big three, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The app doesn’t really have a USP.
At the moment they are promoting that the app will require a subscription, making it pay to play. A subscription social media app is not a USP. Social media isn’t social if it’s not inclusive. Put a pay wall up and then it becomes a members club.
By adding the pay wall it does become exclusive but at the price of becoming elitist and that’s not what social media is about.
Why the hype?
Over the weekend of the 24 February lots of influencers suddenly started talking about the app across all social media platforms. Lots were advocating the platform encouraging others to sign up.
Vero added a form of exclusivity by saying the first million to sign up could become life-time members who will never have to pay for the app.
Now, I don’t speak for everyone but, I don’t like being conned. If Vero has paid influencers to praise the site then I feel conned. At least when I read someone’s blog or review it states whether it’s an advert or a paid partnership. Transparency is key on social media, especially when someone is endorsements and sponsored posts.
I should imagine that some of the hype has also come from the dissatisfaction about Instagram no longer having a chronological feed. Users moving away from Snapchat thanks to a direct blow from top influencer, Kylie Jenner, will also help competitors like Vero.
What’s the verdict on Vero?
Click here to link to a Twitter thread which sums up lots of people’s concerns about Vero. This Twitter thread is really interesting, it highlights the exact parts of the terms and conditions which people might have a problem with.
Dogged by glitches, strange terms and conditions and trouble to get accounts deleted are being reported by many users, including myself! There are even some reports of the app draining mobile phone batteries.
Since being on the app I’ve experienced the glitches and read the terms and conditions. Now I’ve made the decision to come off the app I’m not getting any response back from Vero’s team about deleting my account. It’s frustrating and painful. Five days and counting – my account is still active!
So much speculation in fact that Vero had to release a comment to try and clear up or keep at bay some of the allegations being circulated about them. (That Tweet isn’t the half of it – there’s other stuff going round on Twitter! And of course we don’t know what’s true or not.)
Read the statement on Vero’s website – Recent media coverage has questioned how recently Vero CEO Ayman Hariri played a role at Saudi Oger.At the moment, it’s only a week later and all is quiet again on the Vero front. The Vero hype has definitely calmed down as the UK’s snow situation has dominated social media, and pretty much everything, for the past few days.
My personal opinion about Vero is probably quite clear. I’m just not a fan, because it doesn’t add value.
I got bored on it very quickly as it wasn’t doing anything my other apps weren’t. Yes, it does look stylish but that didn’t sustain my interest for longer than five seconds, I need substance.
And, the truth is I feel that Vero is missing the point. I want inclusivity. Social media is inclusive. A pay wall is not inclusive. That pay wall, when it kicks in, is going to stop a big section of society from using the app. I am not ok with that.
What do you think of Vero?
Please share your thoughts in the comments section, it would be great to know what you think.