What’s the deal with Vero?
By now, you’ve probably heard of the social media newbie, Vero. It’s being marketed as a replacement for Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
Since I’ve recently decided to take a more active approach to social media, I thought I’d try it out. Time for the breakdown:
- Diverse sharing: One of the first things I noticed with Vero is the diversity in sharing information. When you add a “connection” (I currently have one.), you can assign them a role. This is similar to permissions or a hierarchy of friendship. The three levels include Acquaintances, Friends, and Close Friends. The intent here is to create a more authentic social platform. The variety is appreciated, but I could see this easily becoming problematic if people forget what information they are sharing, and to whom.
- Diverse posting: Much like Tumblr, but with a twist, when you post on Vero, you’re given several options, as shown below. This includes photos, music, books, links, and locations. It facilitates the ease of sharing and commiserating. However, there are some issues with the functionality that I’ll speak to later.
- ¡Viva la Revolución!: It’s touted as a new take on the social networking that has seeped into everyday existence. To be truthful, it’s a fresh take, and interesting, not sure it’s all that revolutionary. It is visually stunning, and relatively easy to navigate. But, again, I’ll save my constructive comments for later….
- Open to All: For a limited (yet to be quantified) time, Vero is free-for-life to anyone that signs up. The endgame is for Vero to be a subscription-based site. This will negate the advertising that permeates other social media, and keep Vero from being tempted into selling your information to third parties.
The Cold Hard Vero
If you’ve been keeping your eye on the news surrounding the platform, you’ve probably seen the stories about the CEO’s shady past.
It’s shady… as in they can’t confirm nor deny the facts. Or they can’t confirm or deny the rumors based on the facts. I’m not entirely sure. But its a social media platform, so understand that you’re giving them access to who you are and basically selling a part of yourself to stay “connected.” Regardless of the CEO’s history, social media is really not something you should trust by default. So, don your tinfoil hat, if you so choose, as long as you keep your eyes open to the truth.
Like I said earlier, I’m trying this whole open approach to social media. I’m sharing more about myself and finding less reasons to hide from the camera. My foray into Vero was part of this as I was curious about the platform, and I wanted to see its connectivity.
- Change to strange?: Vero is all about creating a true, authentic social media experience. Honestly, the only true social experience happens when people disconnect from social media and reconnect to corporeal humans. But to turn the focus on the app, the music is limited to Apple Play, and can’t actually be played through the post. Book and movie recommendations are flat images, that lead nowhere. There’s no inherent interaction beyond viewing/liking the posts. This may change as the platform grows, but it’s an alarmingly annoying feature. If I share a song, I want the people seeing that post to be able to hear the WHOLE song, not a 20 second clip. The friendship levels are also intrinsically elitist, asking users to determine how much a human matters to their online presence. While on the surface, this may feel like you’re given options, the truth is you’re being forced to categorize people into very specific roles. There’s no fluidity.
- Ploy Decoy: The free-for-life campaign is a clear ploy to get users signed up. Vero obviously has very little to lose, and only ground to gain as the numbers increase and the engagement builds. Ultimately, it’s your choice. I opted in, so I’m not here to tell you that you shouldn’t. The site may not be working behind the scenes to data mine your privacy (like current competitors), but you’re still actively sharing details of your life to any connection you add. So, caution is always warranted.
Vero definitely has some room for improvement and need for clarity. The shady history is suspect. Their “truthful” and “authentic” manifesto is a little heavy-handed for my tastes, but it’s a start to something new.