With well-known apps losing popularity (*cough* Snapchat), a fairly unknown one is taking advantage and is skyrocketing up the must-have list for iOS users. Recently, Vero has officially beat Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter for downloads.
What is it actually for? Well, that’s an interesting question. It’s basically a mixture of your favourite apps so you can easily share things to your followers.
Like Instagram, you can post pictures, and like Facebook, you can share links to things. You can also follow your friends, celebrities, and brands, like with any social media platform these days. So far the only thing better than Instagram is that Vero actually has everything in chronological order.
What’s weird about this app is that you don’t have a user name. You sign up with a name, email and phone number. That’s it. How do you even find people? Well, you just have to search their name, like on Facebook. But here’s the real kicker: You can either have friends on there or followers.
Within the friends settings, there are three tiers: close friends, friends, and acquaintances. When you accept a friend request, you can choose which tier they belong to. So basically you filter your social circle how you would in real life when making plans.
So when you post an image, for example, you can choose which group of people see it. It can go to just close friends and friends or include acquaintances and followers too. Ultimately, you control your audience.
Another apparent appeal of Vero seems to revolve around the fact that the company promises not to track data and that it is ad-free. Those qualities sound great, but for such a luxury means you will have to pay out of pocket eventually to withhold those promises.
The app is free for download as of right now but with the increasing popularity, the company will install a subscription fee.
It might sound like a great alternative for those who hate other social media platforms, but it’s also getting a ton of backlash.
The campaign to #DeleteVero began because users started questioning co-founder’s Ayman Hariri’s previous experience as CEO of a Saudi construction company.
The company he was with formerly with shut down due to mismanagement, with at least $3.5 billion in debt and thousands of unpaid workers, Bloomberg reported last year. 31,000 people were left to hang bone dry with nothing, not even a penny. A 2016 report from Reuters also discussed how migrant construction workers were abandoned at desert camps without pay and basic resources such as food and water. Disgusting, I know.
It was so bad the Lebanese government had to intervene and give basic necessities to workers who weren’t able to make a living because of the company’s negligence. When the government needs to get involved with a company to help the former employees suffering from poor living conditions and not for criminal activity, that says something.
Vero actually means “Truth” in Latin. The connection is assumed to be that this app allows you to post the unfiltered truth to living a social life and allows you to post what you want without screening. His frustration for other social media platforms supposedly the reason behind Hariri’s creation. But by the sounds of it, he doesn’t know the meaning behind the word.
And while you’re questioning the the creator of the app, many are also questioning how to actually delete it. In order to remove it from your device, your account requires filing a support request to Vero.
That’s right, you need to be approved to have it deleted.
Did some research on Vero and wanted to delete only to find a delete REQUEST was my only option.
What the actual… pic.twitter.com/L8oOcX5ADS
— aammyy (@ohhnoitsamyy) February 28, 2018
Doesn’t sound so savvy and friendly now, does it? Sure, it might have an authentic concept, but it’s alarming how shady everything is.
Despite launching in 2015, it’s shocking that in the past week it’s become a household name. And with growing popularity does come with growing pains. Many users are complaining about technical difficulties, which are probably as a result of so many users on the system that it’s not accustomed to. Luckily they are quick to address these issues via Twitter.
I’m sure the hype will stay high for a while, but I feel like once Instagram and Snapchat in particular come to their senses that it will die down again. Plus once users have to start paying to use the app, there is no way that people are going to want to pay to use it when you can get essentially similar functions from free apps.
Feature image via Vero