In the space of a week, a new social media app called Vero has gone from being almost unheard of to the top of the app charts, overtaking the likes of Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.
The app, launched in 2015 by a Lebanese billionaire, has suddenly gone from hardly being featured on any app charts whatsoever to topping both Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store.
Vero’s sudden success seems to have taken many people by surprise, especially its creators, with the number of new signups overwhelming its servers and at times forcing the app offline.
Vero has a lot of similarities to Instagram but with a few notable differences.
One of Vero’s main features is that it is ad free and unlike Facebook owned Instagram doesn’t collect any data on its users or sell user data to the highest bidder.
Secondly, Vero doesn’t use any form of algorithm to prioritise and monetise content, which Facebook and Instagram use to help determine what you see see in your feed – something which has angered users to both social networks.
Finally, since it is ad-free, Vero uses a subscription model to support itself. While the service is currently free for users to sign up, the company hasn’t given too many details on its subscription model, other than saying users will be charged “a small annual fee”, likely to be a couple of dollars per year.
The company is currently offering a free lifetime membership to the first one million people who sign up.
The future success of Vero now hinges on turning the new sign ups into a solid base who use the app regularly.
In order to try and achieve this the company has used some interesting techniques to raise the profile of its app, particularly amongst users of other social networks.
In the US it launched an advertising campaign targeting dissatisfied users of both Facebook and Instagram.
It then reached out to other key social media influencers and personalities who helped to promote Vero to their followers and subscribers.
From there, an online buzz was created that spread across Twitter and other online communities, all of which meant that by Tuesday, Vero had more downloads in one week than it had in the three years since it launched.
Only time will this initial buzz be enough to help Vero become a genuine alternative to the more established social networks.
But if you are privacy conscious or just want a change from the likes of Facebook and Instagram, you want to give Vero a try.