Social media app Vero has surged in popularity over the past week, but influencers and businesses are still testing the waters before deciding whether to jump on board.
Vero, which was launched by billionaire Lebanese businessman Ayman Hariri, officially kicked off in 2015, reports Mashable. Despite being around for some time, the app has only just started trending in the App Store, reaching number one in the social media category.
Similar to Instagram, the platform is entirely mobile-based and places an emphasis on visual content. Users are able to share photos, links and provide recommendations on books, movies and TV programs.
However, Vero stands out from Instagram and Facebook because it employs a chronological news feed, similar to Twitter, instead of an algorithm that determines what content is seen and when.
In its manifesto, Vero said it does not incorporate advertising into its revenue model, but will instead begin charging users for a subscription after 1 million free users have joined the service.
“As a subscription-based service, our users are our customers, not the product we sell to advertisers.”
Alongside its launch, Vero boasts it will provide exclusive content from well known artists and content creators, such as photographer Greg Williams and musician Banks.
Brands like British GQ and Oliver Spencer have also signed on to the platform, indicating there may be an opportunity for businesses to begin sharing content in the new space, or influencers to promote brands on their personal profiles.
Vero has also said in its manifesto that merchants will be charged a transaction fee if users buy products through the app.
— Vero (@verotruesocial) June 9, 2017
However it hasn’t entirely been smooth sailing for Vero as it takes off in popularity, with users pointing out server crashes as a result of the sudden influx of user traffic.
We apologize for the late update.
We are scaling our servers to meet the increasing demand.
We appreciate your continued patience while we work to restore service.
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— Vero (@verotruesocial) February 26, 2018
Will brands and businesses join the network?
Taryn Williams, founder of influencer agency theright.fit, tells SmartCompany the highly visual element of Vero could play to the advantage of influencers and brands.
“We’ve seen a lot of adoption of creative talent, such as photographers and makeup artists with strong visual assets, and we’re already seeing adoption from the creative community. There’s influencers on every channel, so if they see value in it, they’ll make it their new primary platform,” Williams says.
However, Williams says the subscription model could make businesses think twice before spending time on it.
“That will possibly affect the adoption rate because people will have to pay to be involved. As with any subscription it depends on the value. If users can see the value, people will be happy to pay.”
Williams says influencers are looking for the quality of the user experience and the ability to grow a social community when they decide to contribute content to any platform.
“I think [Instagram] have done a great job in curating content and its very user-centric. From a whole different range of demographics. Your mum can pick up and how to use the basic features,” she says.
“I think that’s really powerful, obviously a lot of brands spend time fostering a community on there.”
At this point in time, Williams says it’s a little early to see if Vero will present a market for brands to capitalise on.
“Launching a new platform is really difficult for anyone but it will be interesting to see how they go.”