ClearPG Hottake 1.0: Like we mentioned below, it’s incredibly hard to understand exactly what is happening here. We aren’t really sure what demographic this app is for. Kids won’t pay for it. Parents and adults seem annoyed by it. So that suggests that the target demographic is somewhere in the middle, possibly. No one is sure!
In our opinion, the biggest obstacle we see for Vero moving forward is that they haven’t catered to content creators at all. There’s no way for a creator from another network to bring over his followers since the app is based on real-world connections and your phone’s email and phone number contact list. Why is that a big deal? Over the last decade, content creators have been the driving force behind moving audiences to one network or another.
The press we’ve seen about Vero over the last week has been mostly negative. We’re trying to take a more even, hopeful approach (though we see it’s flaw…and there are many!) by pointing out that there is definitely a niche demographic and a demand for a network like this. Vero has the kind of attention and traction that a startup network would need to be successful – whether they can capitalize on the attention is yet to be seen.
You’ve probably seen lots of your friends talking about Vero…
But what is Vero and why should my business care? Vero is a new social network that exists on mobile devices that is marketed as an Instagram Killer (it’s not…yet). Vero is described as a “True Social” network where they value your real-world connections over paid ads and randomized newsfeeds. Vero boasts a newsfeed that consists of people you are connected with and probably actually want to follow. Beyond that, it looks and feels a lot like Instagram, but the interface is actually waaay better!
If you think that sounds super confusing and nebulous, you’re right…
Vero’s intentions, direction, and usefulness are currently unclear – not only because their marketing seems confusing, but also because as we were writing this article, the app barely worked.
So What’s the catch?
Our hope is that Vero turns into something really cool and useful! It seems positioned to be a unique tool with features that users would want. As end users, everyone in our office thought it was great. We love the idea of a social media platform that doesn’t prioritize paid content and focuses on real-world relationships.
We are still unsure how this will shake out for businesses. As of right now, here are some things your business should consider:
It won’t be free forever. While it’s free right now as part of their marketing push, Vero’s own documentation suggests that this will soon be a social network where you have to pay to have access. That means some demographics will be very underrepresented in the application. It’s possible that it will always be free and this is just a marketing ploy designed to create scarcity.
It’s kinda broken…for now. It’s hard for our team to understand what Vero is when it doesn’t seem to work. We experience server timeouts 50% of the time and the app crashed regularly. We’ve been trying to demo all the features of Vero for almost a week now and it’s safe to say that we’re still not entirely sure what it can do!
It’s not designed for brands…yet. It may be premature to say this, but there are some clear signals that Vero (when it works) won’t have the same kinds of tools, reach and audience that networks like Facebook and Instagram have. Vero’s own language seems to confirm this on their website. Vero confirms that it won’t be selling ads or access, which may turn some brands off when they aren’t able to use targeted advertising. In fact, there’s no real mention of any sort of system that marketers would find useful…right now
Its reach is limited…for now. The way Vero seeks to share information is not really friendly to businesses that are wanting to push content consistently to a broad audience. Yes, they let you share links, but the functionality currently only works when Vero recognized a matched person using phone numbers you have in your contacts. To be clear, you can share content, but that content ONLY goes to people you follow and the people you follow – or who follow you – are limited to the phone numbers you have in your contact list. Which leads us to our next issue…
It’s a time suck… for now. Because Vero only shares content with people you actually know or follow, it’s going to be hard for businesses to build an audience. Facebook and Instagram have systems built in that will show content to a network of people that are in some sort of proximity. Vero suggests that it will only share content with people you have followed. What that means is that business social media managers, for now, would have to spend all their time building an audience. As it stands right now, we can’t imagine that’s the best use of your time and absolutely no one can tell you what kind of returns you would see.
What (or who) is the product? Frankly, we aren’t sure. Of course, you, are the product here. The users are almost always the product when it comes to social networks. But to what end? We aren’t really sure what Vero’s business model is and that makes us uneasy.
How Can My Business Use Vero?
We aren’t sure yet. No one is!
But aren’t we supposed to be the experts on this kind of thing?! Sure. But we also aren’t liars pedaling fear for our own benefit! No one knows what Vero is, exactly, just yet. Any marketing company saying they understand where Vero is going while giving you advice on how to leverage it is literally just speculating! There are no “Best Practices” or even full understanding of what Vero is! Vero doesn’t even seem to know what it is yet!
There’s no way in hell that anyone knows what this means for your business right now. Period.
What Should I do now?!
You should go ahead and grab a username using your company’s name. Go to the App store on your phone, download the app (it’s free now), and sign up. You’re going to have to fudge the system and use the First Name, Last Name fields as your company name, but it’s probably worth it to grab your name now just in case.
While Vero is allowing larger brands and companies to create verified accounts, there is no information on how a company or brand would go about getting verified. We’ve seen brands on Vero (like this, and this ), but those all seem to be hand-picked by Vero themselves for Vero’s own marketing purposes.
What’s Our Opinion of Vero?
It’s honestly hard to say right now. Our team loved the concept, loved the interface, and had high hopes that it would…and still could be… something that we’d use regularly. We also hope that the whole ‘paywall’ thing is just a marketing ploy because we can’t imagine a pay-to-play social network making much headway in the current market.
The good thing about Vero is that we still live in a market where there is room for cool things to happen in social media!
From a business perspective, Vero is having some pretty significant “launch” difficulties – though they’ve actually been around since 2015 – that make it hard to figure out what it is exactly. There are serious limitations designed into Vero that would make businesses looking to leverage it for exposure think twice before investing time and money into it.
But no one really knows…yet.
Here’s what all the people who are smarter than us have to say about Vero!