Vero — the Instagram App Killer Has Risen to the Top of App Charts

In a world of algorithms and boycotting Facebook products, netizens are moving to incentivized content channels where you get paid on the blockchain like Steemit, and add-free places without annoying algorithms, like Vero.

Vero is the hot Instagram Alternative of 2018

Vero has shot up the app charts recently in the U.S. The ad-free app lets users share photos, add links, and recommend books, movies and TV shows to friends. Lately, it’s looking like this could be an Instagram rival in the making.

As we look for more ethical social media platforms, it seems this app has touched a nerve. It has jumped from 99 to number one in Apple’s UK store in the past week.

No Adds, More Privacy and Some Relevance Thank you.

Vero isn’t a new app but the climate seems right for something like this. It actually launched back in July 2015 and offers a way for people to share photos and other content with friends and the wider world, with an emphasis on privacy and the promise of no advertising.

Vero has a Punchline

You can read Vero’s manifesto here.

PEOPLE NATURALLY SEEK CONNECTION. 
THAT’S WHY ONLINE SOCIAL NETWORKS HAVE BEEN SO WIDELY ADOPTED OVER THE PAST TEN YEARS.
THEY OFFERED THE PROMISE OF CONSTANT CONNECTION AND THE MEANS TO KEEP IN TOUCH WITH FRIENDS AND TO SHARE WHAT’S HAPPENING IN OUR LIVES.
BUT AS TIME PASSED, AN IMBALANCE BEGAN TO FORM BETWEEN THE INTERESTS OF THE PLATFORMS AND THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE USERS.

Vero insists its users are its customers, not advertizers, so hopefully they can remain customer-centric. After all, who wants to use a product where users are exploited for profit and don’t benefit much from the service?

The app’s [now] pacing to add more than 500,000 users in 24 hours, and that’s just on iOS in the US.

Vero Hits #1 in App Stores

Vero is #1 on AppAnnie’s iOS top app charts and is trending in Google Search. Of course, Vero is an app that bills itself as a social network “that lets you be yourself”. When I tried it briefly, it was buggy as f*ck. That doesn’t disaude me, the collections feature seem very intuitive.

That app was founded by Ayman Hariri, a billionaire businessman and son of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. The look and feel of the app is charmingly retro.

According to their business model, The first million new users get free and open Vero access, but a paid model will launch soon. Vero’s manifesto looks totally transparent about everything it does with your data. No shady Facebook games.

  • Who doesn’t miss an actual chronological feed?
  • Who doesn’t miss social media without Ads, bots and privacy invasion, am I right?

It’s Not Hard to Elevate the UX above Instagram

Vero is not so much an elevated Instagram, as a streamlined app that it believes consumers really want. By the hype in late February of 2018, it seems to have hit on something.

I’ve always been fascinated by what happens when an app goes viral. It reminds me of that time Peach or tbh went viral. Vero is like that newly rediscovered “no ads, no algorithms” social media app platform that certainly wasn’t expecting this kind of weekend blitz. Instagram users feel cheated with the algorithm and the Ads are starting to drive users to seek more peer-based authenticity (not necessarily named Snap).

Instagram Haters Need a Lifeline

What we are witnessing with Vero is probably a momentary spike. The product is not revolutionary and many of its features look like a rehash you might have expected of something 10 years old.

But Facebook has copied Stories from Snapchat and basically bombarded us with them until what we once called ‘social media’, is barely recognizable. Do I want to watch my friends make video art or actually relate to them and know what kind of content they are consuming in the real world?

Vero is still in Beta, but the concept of being able to easily share not just photos, but links, music, movies, shows, books and places in a more coherent streamlined way does feel right.

The fact that it is ads-free is just huge for me. I suspect this is the case with other “ethical Millennials.” We don’t want to be part of some profit machine. We want an app where not only can we be ourselves but see the real selves of significant others in our lives. That arguably hasn’t occurred on Facebook and Instagram for quite some time. Oddly enough, it does occur on Twitter from time to time.

Though most users seem to be posting photos, the app also lets you share text and URLs, as well as recommendations for books, TV shows, and movies.

It’s not just eye-candy we are talking about. We are more after all, than just a pretty face. That’s where Instgram shallowness of the personal brand warps our reality and social-comparison feedback loops that already destroyed us on Facebook, take new bite out of our incentive to share anything personal at all on Instagram. We grew up with that junk, and we don’t want to go back.

jade darmawangsa on YouTube makes a good point. However the app is being brutally reviewed since all the crashes with the traffic spike. The minimalism does appeal to Millennials, but how loyal will they be to something that’s constantly crashing?

So is Vero an IG-killer? Probably not, but it’s a good app to download on the weekend and never try again. Besides if it actually did well, Facebook would likely go and acquire it like it did with teen-app tbh (to be honest).

This isn’t like Reddit; this is more like Ello/Peach that walks to the beat of its own drum and is a curiosity for what social media could have been, and has forever lost. It’s that nostalgia for the good old days of apps like Twitter, that makes Vero feel like a “good concept”.