Vero – What is it? Should I be using it for my business?

Vero is the latest social network to join the social media circle and it’s certainly created quite a storm. With many Instagram users flocking over to Vero over the past few days causing technical errors with the new app, we thought we’d check out what all the fuss was about and see if this new social channel would be of valuable use to us as an advertising agency or to any of our clients.

So, what does Vero do and how does it differ to other social platforms?

Upon initial inspection, Vero has a very Instagram like feel to it. Images and video are essential when posting and the news feed is nearly identical, with media being displayed in a square format and providing users with the option to ‘heart’ (like) and/or comment on a post. The use of hashtags is also another similar feature and appears to be the primary manner in which to search for specific content on Vero, similar to both Instagram and Twitter.

The main differentiating factor is when it comes to posting. To create a post, you have the option to upload a photo or video, post a link, recommend music/movies/TV/books or post a place (which similar to the Facebook ‘check in’ feature). The opportunity to specifically recommend entertainment to your followers is something which hasn’t yet been done on other social platforms. Vero allows you to search for TV programmes/music/movies/books and post them on your ‘dashboard’ (aka profile) so you can keep your followers updated with what you’re up to and what you’re watching/reading. Also, with the opportunity to post links, you can now direct followers to websites which Instagram doesn’t currently allow in newsfeed posts – therefore eliminating the term ‘link in bio’ for you avid Instagram users.

Should my business have its own Vero dashboard?

In all honesty, it’s very early days to contemplate creating a business page on Vero. The option for a business page doesn’t yet seem to be available on this platform and therefore, there are no opportunities for profile (sorry – dashboard) insights/analytics or sponsored content. No, really – Vero has no ads, there is no algorithm and its data mining is minimal as Vero only collects data which it believes to be necessary to provide users with the great social experience. The Independent discusses the possible development of a ‘buy now’ button for businesses, but this would be a paid-for feature and there hasn’t yet been any indication in regard to how much this would cost.

Vero has also announced the introduction of a subscription fee which, in our opinion, would be extremely off-putting for new sign-ups especially as there are many alternative social networks which are completely free for users and businesses (unless you invest in sponsored content). Vero’s justification for this fee is to ensure users are ‘customers’ and not ‘advertisers’ and therefore will seek to source income from subscriptions opposed to advertising fees in the hope of limiting the amount of promotional content on this social network – which, isn’t a bad idea when considering user experience and content value. However, in regard to using Vero as a marketing medium for your business, it’s for these reasons that this platform may not be a great investment (at the moment) – unless you’re a large national/global corporation with very high brand awareness.

A big benefit for businesses, in our opinion, is the opportunity to share links within posts, which I know we as an agency, would like to see more on Instagram. It would be of great benefit to share posts which provide valuable content to our followers and the Instagram community by directing them to our blogs, specific website pages and external websites which contain news articles, best practice case studies, etc. opposed to being restricted to Instagram stories.

For businesses who engage in Influencer Marketing, then you really need to keep your eye on the progression of this social platform. With Vero’s ‘recommendation’ feature, we could be witnessing the start of a whole new realm of Influencer Marketing and we suspect other social channels may be taking notes…

So, what are we trying to say?

As a whole, Vero definitely has its differences and benefits and as a social media platform we’re unsurprised that many Instagram users have migrated over to this new social network over the past few days. But currently, it is just that! It’s a SOCIAL network which provides the added feature of recommending entertainment and sharing content with friends and family. It certainly has not been created with an objective of encouraging businesses to use the social network as a marketing channel, however, never say never. With its subscription fees, people may be very hesitant to sign-up to this social network and therefore Vero may have to eventually look at opening up advertising opportunities for businesses in order to generate a steady and substantial revenue stream. All we can say is – watch this space.

To find out more information about Vero, you can visit their website here.