Social Media App Vero Blows Up, But Success Creates Problems

Frustrated with social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook that display posts based on an algorithm, users are swarming to a new, paid service that promises to show social items in reverse chronological order.

Vero has actually been around for a while, but recently began a strong push for new users by promising that the first million to sign up would have the service’s subscription fee waived for life.

It has been wildly successful — maybe too much so. Once you download the app from the iOS or Android app stores, you may or may not be able to sign up, post or approve friend requests. My first item, praising the 2017 movie “Baby Driver”, is stuck in “Post Failed” limbo.

According to Mashable, Vero has been around since 2015, languishing at the bottom of download lists on both app stores. But its current push has it perched at the top of the iTunes App Store.

Vero was started by Ayman Hariri, a billionaire who’s also the son of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri of Lebanon. He wanted to create a social network that didn’t use advertising as payment, instead requiring users to pay to play. After all, when a service is free and monetized by ads, its users are the product, not the customer.

You can post photos, links, talk about music or movies or books, and check in at a place. It’s similar to Instagram, completely with filters and photo editing, but with more structure for posts.

In addition to being ad-free, Vero also shows posts in reverse chronological order. Users on Facebook and Instagram, which Facebook also owns, complain constantly about its algorithmic approach to posts, which don’t let you see all the items posted by friends. On Facebook, you can temporarily view posts with “Newest First”, but it still won’t show… Continue reading “Social Media App Vero Blows Up, But Success Creates Problems”