With a Latin-derived name translating to “true” or “real”, “Vero”, are a social media company with a statement - they want “more social and less media”.
With the massive influx of signups as a result of their influential influencer marketing campaign, it’s clear to see Vero have big plans.
But, as the saying goes, plans are great until you get punched in the face, and Vero's interface has already experienced some serious shiners. In fact, since it’s rapid emergence over the past few days, the app’s been pretty much broken for many people.
Updates from Vero's Twitter account explain how they are struggling to cope with the rapidly growing interest in the site, with slightly less creativity than Twitter’s Fail Whale.
"Due to very large traffic, we're experiencing intermittent technical issues,"... "We're working to resolve them as soon as possible".
Other posts reveal issues with signing up, with posting, and even with getting on the site at all. "Thanks for your patience while we continue to work to resolve the current service outage".
Apart from the initial teething problems, users have also highlighted issues with Vero’s terms of service, underlining Vero’s ownership of all content produced on its platform - a massive concern for the artists and creatives Vero are paying most of their efforts on marketing to. In fact, Vero reserve the right to use members’ content, anytime and anywhere.
For a company priding itself on creative liberation, their policies of possession, definitely drum up a sense of irony.
However, Vero have hit back highlighting that similar terms are present in the majority of social media companies' conditions, and are in fact, needed to allow such content to be shared and embedded. The company conceded that its terms had caused "confusion", and that they have been updated for the purpose of clarification.
Another potential issue arising from Vero is that eventually, users will be charged to have accounts on the service. However, one thing can be said for the company’s transparency in this respect, with a clear manifesto on the company’s website emphasising its model: "We made our business model subscription-based, making our users our customers, not advertisers".
So apart from the “first million users free” campaign offer Vero are currently running, eventually users will have to pay an annual fee to get onto the site. There will also be a charge for companies who want to use the "buy now" feature, which will enable people to buy things directly from their posts.
So what else does Vero do?
In terms of its functionalities, like many other social medias, Vero, facilitates friend-making, the posting and sharing of image and video content, direct messaging and search. However, where the company stands out is in its incorporation of a “smarter social” functionality, where you can tailor your content to specific audiences based on the level of friendship, “like in real-life”.
It also has a chronological, non-algorithmic feed that includes everything people post, meaning organisations or people can't pay to boost posts, like on other platforms.
What about data?
With the impending GDPR in mind, Vero also claims that it will avoid the bullish data collection methods of sites like Facebook: "Vero only collects the data we believe is necessary to provide users with a great experience and to ensure the security of their accounts".
With Vero’s swift rise to prominence over the last few days, it’s too early to gauge whether the platform is the future of a more social, social media, or just a quick flash in an ever-warming pan.