Social Media

Vero – True Social: The Truths Marketers Should Know

March 1, 2018

It’s been hard to miss the inundation of articles about a social platform called Vero bubbling up to the top of your feeds recently. While it launched in 2015, Vero – True Social experienced an abrupt surge in popularity over the last week, currently placing it at #1 on the iOS app store.
For consumers, Vero offers something that has been sorely missed in the current social landscape. Vero touts a reverse-chronological feed (meaning posts appear in the order they’re posted, not fed to users by an algorithm) and no ads, but the question remains if the platform is capable of driving enough adoption to create a sustainable position in the crowded social landscape. What, if anything, should marketers be doing to make the most of this emerging platform?

What Sets Vero Apart

On the surface, Vero is similar to Instagram – it lets users share images, text, URLs, and videos but also encourages them to recommend books, TV shows, and movies, social behavior more akin to Facebook. Other key differentiators include:

  • Ad-free & Subscription Based: Instead of having ads, Vero plans to charge users a subscription fee to use the platform. This weekend they announced that they’d waive the fee for the first million users on their platform. A move that in turn, drove mass adoption and contributed to the app’s instant virility.
  • Reverse Chronological Feed: Vero is now one of the only platforms to feature an algorithm-free feed which has also contributed to its popularity as a form of protest against Instagram, who’s algorithm changes have been criticized by users.
  • User Follower Segmenting: Users are encouraged to designate their followers into categories (close friend, friend, acquaintance, or follower) on the platform in order to facilitate more specific sharing.

    How Brands Can Break Through

    Despite being publicly anti-advertising in their manifesto, there are still a couple different ways for brands to be active in the space:

  • Influencer-led: While there are early hints that Vero may become slightly more brand friendly in the future, right now the platform would be best leveraged as an influencer-led piece of a comms strategy.
  • Content efficiencies with Instagram: The platform itself is very similar to Instagram, with slightly broader media formats. Brands should be able to use the platform as they would Instagram, posting organically and driving content efficiencies.

    Assessing the Landscape for Marketers

    The attention Vero has received makes sense in the broader social climate. Ever since the major platforms implemented algorithms that cause users to occasionally miss posts from friends and loved ones, consumers have been vocal about wanting more authentic social experiences. We’ve also seen this consumer-driven demand reflected in Snapchat and Facebook’s most recent updates which work to weave some of these more genuine moments into their own social networking experiences. Given all of this, Vero’s popularity was bound to grow once word spread far enough.

    However, that attention threatens to be the root of Vero’s downfall. With the current technical issues and controversy around their founder marring the platform, there’s a chance that the new users gained this week may abandon the platform and migrate back to more reliable spaces.

    For marketers, Vero is one worth watching, but not investing in just yet. There’s a real possibility that it could fade away due to its growing pains, but there’s also potential for it to begin a rebound from advertiser focused platforms to more premium, consumer-centric social networks.