The social landscape may be changing, with more platforms adapting to the needs of consumers rather than advertisers. The question is: Will it benefit or harm those who use social media as a tool for business-building? The latest social entrant doesn’t paint a clear picture in that regard. A new name is making the rounds, and that’s Vero—meaning “truth” for its promise to maintain social authenticity.
So, how does it work?
It features a sleeker, darker aesthetic than other social platforms currently available, and is advertisement- and algorithm-free, categorizing content chronologically. While similar to Instagram in its focus on photo and video, it promotes a customized audience for each post—adding exclusivity and a personal touch.
Users can categorize their followers into various categories—Friends, Close Friends, Acquaintances, etc.—and also have the ability to direct-message a contact, instead of interacting through posts, as with Facebook’s Messenger capability.
Will it catch on? Vero had initially guaranteed a “free for life” offer to its first million users, but has recently extended free access to the app until further notice. At some point, Vero claims it will start charging a subscription fee, as this is how it plans to fund the product without having to rely on advertisements.
How much is too much money for a paid social service? Agents will have to gauge if paying for a subscription yields better results than free posts on other social sites—especially if, without the use of algorithms, agents will not be able to apply targeted marketing techniques.
With the typical giants of social media—Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and YouTube—continuing to offer free services, it is unlikely that users will jump ship onto a new and untested platform for which they have to pay; however, if exclusivity and the removal of ads is enticement enough, Vero may see a surge of new users looking to leave behind their current cluttered platforms.
Agents should keep in mind, however, that various social platforms flaunting innovative designs have come and gone. Ello, Mastodon, Peach and Sarahah seemed to be gaining traction, but quickly lost steam when they couldn’t compete with the likes of Facebook and Instagram.
If real estate professionals cannot use Vero for sponsored advertising, they will have to rely on forming more personal connections with their clients in order to get Follows within the app. If done correctly, this could prove useful, allowing agents to interact with their clients in a different way. Although they would be restricted in how they share business-related content, sharing common interests within the app, such as music and events, may be a straight shot into referral opportunities. And with the promise of authenticity, agents can stand apart from the competition by participating in a social community that isn’t targeted toward businesses.