Vero, after one week
It's been a week since I started using Vero. The new, old social media platform. Here's how it's gone so far.
First a bit of history. Vero launched in 2015, originally as a alternative to Facebook. Around early 2018 there was a surge in interest and popularity in Vero. However it never really gained enough regular users to be a viable option for most 'influencers', content creators or for someone wanting to share updates with friends.
In fact back in 2018 I wrote a blog post about Vero about Vero becoming the new leader in social media. It's fair to say I was pretty wrong.
While Facebook has (in my opinion) failed to attract new and or young users. Seemingly remaining a site used by only those who were young adults or older in Facebook's 2000's and early 2010's prime. It has maintained a huge user base. With those that don't have Facebook often using Meta's other platform, Instagram.
However, Instagram has also increasingly found itself out of favour with some Creators and casual users. Most notably because of the increasing adverts and focus on TicTok style videos (many of which are actually TicTok videos reuploaded).
While there has been dissatisfaction with Instagram, and previously Facebook, what was the alternative?
Twitter, which I still enjoy, as a text/ conversation focused platform, is love or hate for most. The conversations can be friendly, but there are many cases of extreme views and an inability to have balanced respectful conversations.
TicTok is now considered 'the' short form video platform. Even YouTube has tried to manage TicTok's growth with shorts.
Instagram I really believe was previously thought of as the photo sharing platform. It's mobile icon is still a camera after all. But now seems set to push/ promote video over photo.
This change has meant both Creators and general users are seeing less posts from their friends and people they follow. Their feeds instead are filled with ads and/or near full screen videos from people they don't follow.
You might be thinking "why is so much of this post about other social media platforms, particularly Instagram, and not Vero?" While there has been updates to Vero in 2020 and 2022. The platform itself has not changed much since 2018, and that last wave of excitement. All the things that are good about Vero were there in 2018 (and in the previous blog post).
Over time more Creators have become frustrated with Instagram, particularly Photographers. While the general user may opt to leave social media because they don't enjoy it as much anymore, that's just not really an option for a Creator. They need to continue to share and promote their work, ideally to as large audience as possible. So there has been a renewed call from some Creators (mostly Photographers) for people to try Vero.
In my first week on Vero (this time), I'm reminded of all the cool things that existed in 2018. No ads, a chronological feed and simple sharing groups/ settings. Additionally I'm really appropriating the look of profile pages and the post images (look and size). I do find the bio text slightly large though. Having looked around and searched for hashtags and people, there's a wealth of photography posts and Photographers on the site right now. However, there's still a lack of general users. I've only found 6 people I know away from the internet, and of those 6 only one has a post since 2018.
While there is hype around Vero again. This time I'm more measured. I think Vero will gain a notable number of new users in the next few weeks. But there are still two big issues preventing more growth and use of this site.
Scheduled posting. Currently I do not believe scheduled posting platforms (like Hootsuite, etc) can post to the site. At least I couldn't see a way to do this. I think longer term this will prevent more Creators making Vero their home.
Finding your friends. Even though Vero functions much better than Facebook and Instagram, users just are not moving to this platform. At least not yet. If your friends, family and colleagues are not on Vero and are still on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, then moving to Vero will quickly feel like double (or triple) posting for no reason. Vero needs to find a way to engage regular and passive users if it is ever going to become anything more than a niche platform.
That is what I think, it's much less optimistic than in 2018. Vero is still a great platform and has lots of nice things. But, its hard to be social if no one else is there.
What do you think? Are you using Vero, and how have you found it so far?