What Is Vero — And What Do Marketers Need To Know About It?
If you're not part of Gen-Z, here's your guide to understanding the popular 'true social' app.
You’ve probably heard the buzz: Vero is the hot “new” (it’s been around since 2015) social app attracting users by the millions.
The question is, why? And while the world watches to see if Vero could become the “next Instagram,” what do marketers need to know about it?
What Is Vero, Anyway?
Calling itself an “authentic” social media platform, Vero is an app that allows users to share diverse content — texts, photos, videos, and more — with other users, who can be classified as a “friend, close friend, acquaintance, or follower.” It doesn’t use an algorithm to determine what users will see, and, at least at present, it’s an ad-free platform.
And while it’s anyone’s guess why the app started blowing up years after its official launch, it’s safe to conclude that the lack of an algorithmic feed is at least part of the appeal: Plenty of users (and influencers) have expressed frustration with Instagram ratcheting down its algorithm, and they may feel that an app like Vero is a better way to engage with both friends and fans — with less of the worry about missing out on content that the algorithm didn’t surface.
There’s also the “coolness” factor: Although there are, of course, plenty of adults using Vero — it’s actually most popular with Millennials — the user base does skew young, and it’s common sense that, in general, the kids like to be where the adults (and the advertisers) are not.
What Should Marketers Know About It?
As mentioned, Vero doesn’t allow for ads at present, which is part of its appeal. However, it’s also free, which means that the major question is this: How will Vero evolve its business model to stay sustainable in the long term?
Its CEO has suggested that a subscription model is in the future, in which users will pay “a few dollars” — but that does come with the potential to stall growth, as the app will only remain free for its earlier adopters. Other options would include opening the platform up to advertisers, but, of course, that risks alienating users who downloaded Vero specifically for an “authentic” ad-free experience. All of this is to say that Vero has a solid user base and significant potential — but as is so often the case in the world of social media apps, its future path to monetization is unclear at best.
As such, it certainly doesn’t hurt marketers to learn their way around the app — nor would it be harmful for young, curious brands to create a Vero profile. After all, some of the best engagement for brands on Instagram comes not through ads or promotions but through a visually appealing feed that doesn’t overtly “sell” anything.
However, the bottom line is that it’s far too early for brands to actually shift dollars from Facebook or Instagram advertising to Vero. But the app is certainly one to watch over the next few months. And if it handle the influx of new users and evolve its business model? Then marketers can think about making a major play.