Instagram and Facebook have long reigned supreme as the foremost social media marketing platforms for businesses and social influencers alike. Yet, in recent weeks, we have seen a competitor rise up against these titans. Vero began in 2015, and after three years of a comparatively small user-base of 150 000, they likely never dreamt of even appearing on the radar of the likes of Instagram as a viable competitor. However, the fickle trends of social media had a different idea, as we saw the number of downloads push the membership of the app up to three million in just a week – topping the US App Store chart! Such a flurry of activity deserves a closer look, and certainly prompts the question: does Vero deserve its sudden rise to prominence?
Why has Vero expanded so suddenly?
Unsurprisingly, for an app that has been in circulation for a number of years, a definitive event occurred which prompted its sudden growth. Here this was seemingly the decision from Instagram to adopt new algorithms to adjust the way its user’s posts appear to their followers. Having reached a certain size, Instagram has felt confident enough to introduce algorithms to display people’s posts in order of popularity rather than chronology and appearing only on the news feeds of followers they deem to be most relevant.
Though this may seem like good sense when certain users’ followings are reaching the multi-millions, it has a serious backlash from a social media marketing perspective. Namely, that by deciding who should see what, Instagram is reducing the exposure of each post on average to just 15% of a user’s following. Thereby having a huge effect of usefulness of Instagram as a tool to reach a large audience.
What’s the difference?
Perhaps this is slightly the wrong question to pose, for it seems that it is the features that make Vero similar to Instagram which have benefited it most (in terms of gathering up the disaffected Instagram users). Nevertheless, it does pose some interesting additions. Firstly, Vero allows you to classify your followers as close friends, friends, acquaintances and followers allowing you an extra degree of control over who sees your posts. Secondly, the app is not limited to photo sharing but enables you to share links to literature, film and music that you have enjoyed as well giving an almost ‘blogger’ persona to a user. Finally, and perhaps most crucial of all, it promises to refrain from using adverts or algorithms, thereby making it the obvious alternative to social media users looking to fight back against this new feature on Instagram.
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Do these innovations make Vero a superior marketing platform?
Though on the whole the platforms are very similar, there are a few key benefits to note about Vero when directly comparing the two:
- Algorithms free. I have spoken on this topic above, but it’s worth repeating as it is so crucial in the realm of social media marketing. By ordering posts chronologically and allowing all your followers to see your work, Vero is harking back to Instagram before it got pushy, allowing you to control the exposure of your work.
- Selective following. Being able to differentiate between your following (friends, followers etc.) not only gives you an extra element of privacy but it also allows you to run several accounts in one. By selecting your audience you can have your personal, business and influencer accounts all rolled into one. This equals one larger following.
- In-app sales. Though the platform is advert free, it actually allows you to flow seamlessly from marketing to selling by allowing you to post links under your posts to the in-app portal that allows you to buy products directly. This means if your followers love your work they can strike whilst the iron is hot and buy it right away (take note though, Vero will take a cut of this!)
Put simply, Vero gives users more control over their work and how it is displayed than Instagram does.
Should you consider deserting Instagram?
Let’s be frank, the odds are against Vero becoming a serious long-term competitor of Instagram but that’s not to say it isn’t possible. And even if it does meet this inglorious end, it’s worth considering that in the here and now it is a hot trend. With 95% of its’ users being new to the platform (and thus likely to be exploring it), Vero offers you the chance to get your business exposed to a whole new active online community. What’s more, as the app is (at present) free to download, it’s certainly not a high risk strategy to experiment with it!
Flora Dallas is a content writer for Fat Lama a UK/ US peer-to-peer rental platform (a kind of Airbnb for stuff!). The platform aims to provide a cheaper and more environmentally sustainable alternative to buying products outright, whilst at the same time enabling people to make some money by renting out of their underused items.