CONSUMER FILE

Vero: What to know about hot new social media app

Mar 8, 2018, 6:38 PM | Updated: 9:19 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – Social media app, Vero – True Social, has taken off like a rocket, nearly overnight.  After sitting in near obscurity since it’s launch in 2015, Vero has added millions of users over the past month.

The social app’s meteoric rise certainly didn’t escape the attention of Brigham Young University’s Adam Durfee.

Durfee runs BYU’s Y Digital Agency where he mentors students on how to run social media campaigns for real clients.

Durfee describes Vero functions as a hybrid between Facebook and Instagram.

Its selling point is its key differences: Vero promises to keep posts in chronological order, avoiding the algorithms used by the more popular social networks which determine what posts you see. Vero also promises not to pepper your feed with ads.

“People are kind of getting sick of somebody else telling them what they can and can’t see,’ said Durfee.  “Vero might be answering a question, or answering a problem that a lot of us seem to have on social media.”

That’s a sentiment echoed by social media users KSL spoke with.

“I feel like they target us too much and they know what we’ve been looking at before,” said Facebook and Instagram user, Tyler Knudson. “I don’t like it.”

“They’re annoying,” said social media user, Nicole Gehring. “No one wants to see ads for any reason.  They just shove the ads at you.”

Vero allows users to share photos, videos, links and recommendations on books, movies and more.

Vero also lets you to categorize your followers into different groups – close friends, friends and acquaintances.  This allows you to choose who sees each post. Your followers will never know what category you’ve put them in.

But Vero has struggled with bad reviews in app stores for slowness and connectivity issues.

“With the huge downloads, the server has been crashing all the time. So, right now, the user experience is very low,” explained Durfee. “But, given the volume of downloads Vero continues to have, I would say people are optimistic they’ll work out the server issues.”

Vero is currently free to download and use, but its developers say they will eventually start charging users a subscription fee of a few dollars a year.  They say it’ll help keep the app ad-free.

Durfee believes there is space for pay social media.

“I think the generation adopting social media rapidly right now is not the generation that wanted to put up bunny ears to get free TV,” said Durfee. “This is a group happy to pay for YouTube Red, Spotify or even Pandora. They don’t want to see ads all the time. This is a group willing to pay for an ad-free experience.”

Whether or not Vero sticks around also hinges on how fast our friends adopt it.

“I’m up to like, seven friends, now,” said Durfee. “I look and compare that to my Facebook or Twitter network, and I realize that adoption of my personal network is still very small. And that’s the downside of using new social media to connect with people. Especially, if we’re paying an annual fee to connect with people. We want those people to be present.”

Social media user Jacob Tadge said that’s what would motivate him to download Vero.

“It would probably take for everybody else to switch, too,” Tadge said. “That’s why I use Facebook and Instagram, because everyone else does.”

“I’d download it, take it out for a spin, see how good it was and then either keep it or delete it,” Ajara Rahman said. “Does it work for me?  And if not, it’s got to go.”

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Vero: What to know about hot new social media app