As social media users, we’re a fickle bunch. We like what we like, and we don’t want what we like to change.
When platforms like Facebook or Snapchat modify their algorithms or interfaces, some of us run to the next favorite platform rather than adapt.
That said, some of us willingly add new social media platforms to our expanding repertoire of sharing tools, while others will abandon old platforms for the next big thing – the new shiny social media toy.
It seems like eons since we’ve been offered a true social media alternative to the big players such as Instagram, YouTube and Twitter. But now we might have a winner.
Vero appears to be the newest contender on the social media market seeking and – by some accounts, receiving – our undivided attention.
Vero bills itself as a relationship-first social network, focused on providing users with a unique platform to share content and interact with others, by mirroring real-world relationships in an online setting.
The best part: it’s ad free.
To be fair, Vero isn’t exactly “new.” In fact, the platform has been available since 2015. But user-generated publicity and recent media reports have breathed new life into a once floundering app, now making it one of the most talked-about platforms.
Two weeks ago you wouldn’t have been able to find it on the Top 100 most downloaded app charts. Today, it’s ranked in the top 10 most downloaded apps on iOS and Android stores.
For Vero, this is now a “good news, bad news” situation.
The good news for Vero is that we’re starting to use their app.
The bad news is that Vero is in beta format. Essentially this means they’re not ready for prime time. If you’re the type to be easily annoyed by the occasional crash and glitchy performance issues, this isn’t the app for you. Not yet.
But the potential for something great sits in the user interface. Like other platforms, users can share text and links, endorse TV shows, movies, books and music, and post photos.
Content appears in reverse-chronological order, and you can search posts through your connections or by hashtag.
Vero claims to only collect basic user information - names, email addresses, phone numbers. Also, Vero states that it won’t sell your data to third parties, in part, because it’s an ad-free service.
Inevitably, we gravitate toward new, enhanced platforms that meet our needs. We look for functional alternatives to old, brokendown services that do more to irritate us than connect us to the world.
Vero might be that alternative.
Vero is available on the iOS and Android app stores.
If you like free stuff, check out Vero now before it’s too late. According to the app’s welcome email, the first one million people to download and subscribe will get free access to Vero for life.
Dr. Adam C. Earnheardt is professor and chair of the department of communication at Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH, USA. He researches and writes about communication and relationships, parenting and sports. He writes a weekly column for The Vindicator newspaper on social media and society.