It surprised me to learn that Vero was officially released way back in 2015. I must admit, I have only been aware of it in the last year or so. In case you’re also not familiar, it is a social media platform that markets itself as “ad-free & algorithm-free”.
It’s also pleasantly surprising to find that these two things (at the time of writing) appear to be true. The latter means that, unlike competitors, a user’s newsfeed isn’t currated by a set of code instructions. You may not even know it, but when using platforms like Facebook and Instagram, you don’t see everything that is posted by the accounts you follow. Only what the algorithms deem to be relevant is shown to you. They also feature lots of sponsored posts and advertisements which many people find frustrating.
By contrast, Vero shows you all the content posted by those you follow in a chronological feed. If you leave the app and come back to it, you will see the last thing you were looking at, and then be able to start scrolling up, through the new content posted since then. It’s a good to way to ensure you don’t miss anything. The company also boast that you won’t see ads because they “don’t use your personal data to make money”.
Another good thing about the app is how it shows photographic content. Large images can be uploaded and it’s possible to zoom in and easily see the finer detail. This is a marked improvement over Instagram, where enlarged images automatically snap back to their smaller size when the user releases their fingers from the screen. Not being able to upload images directly from a desktop computer was one critisism previously aimed at Vero. This has now, however, been addressed, with dedicated applications for both Mac and Windows.
Overall, Vero seems pretty good, and there’s very little to find fault with. Some people have expressed scepticism about the company’s policy on data protection, believing the policy does not implicitly state that data will not be sold on and that the app could be monetised in the future. The platform is also missing some of the features of its competitors, such as Facebook’s events system or business pages, and the stories feature present on many social media platforms these days. The latter points, however, will probably be of little concern to photographers who just want an environment in which to share their images.
Perhaps the main drawback of Vero is the relatively small user base. To date, I’ve only been able to connect with 8 other people on the platform, so if you would like to help me increase that figure, you can find my own account here: vero.co/robertbishop
So in conclusion, I’d say yes! Vero seems like a fairly good platform for photographers. Hopefully the company maintains the best features of the app as the user numbers continue to grow.