Everything you need to know about Vero
Under extreme scrutiny is the new social media app Vero, a platform that guarantees an authentic experience with your “close friends, friends, acquaintances, and followers,” void of any internal ads.
Ayman Hariri, Vero’s CEO and Co-Founder, claims his app is targeted for “people who want a safe, genuine reflection of their real-life relationships in an online setting.” Likewise, the company accuses current social media platforms of “[reducing] everyone to a friend or a follower. This encourages us to only share the parts of our lives we think are the most interesting.” There is truth in this accusation; however, judging by the 800 million active users on Instagram, people are okay with this discernment.
Vero launched in 2015 and has been chugging along for three years until a recent spike in users in the last couple of weeks. Vero’s major deviation from that of Instagram is its chronological feed; they promise not to control or curate the content. This is a dream for those who have petitioned Instagram’s new algorithm. I feel it is safe to say Vero is leveraging the mistakes of Instagram and other social media platforms alike.
However, at what cost? It is always hard to denote the life expectancy of apps (i.e., Vine). In Vero’s case, the media has already spoken, declaring this app as what I interpret to be.... questionable. Here are the facts that we know:
1. The founder of Vero has a questionable history.
In 2016 at the Qadisiya Labour camp in Saudi Arabia, thousands of migrant workers were abandoned in the wake of the country’s economic crisis by yours truly, Ayman Rafic Hariri. While working alongside his father, Ayman co-operates his family firm, Oger, which is the company behind this injustice. According to Reuters, “Oger stopped providing food, electricity, maintenance and medical services at several of its camps including Qadisiyah, prompting the Saudi Labour Ministry to take over the provision of basic services there…"
The workers are protesting by staying at the camp, demanding their compensation, as the workers know if they give in and leave they will never receive payment.
2. When content is published to Vero, the platform then owns the content as part of their user content laws.
The platform policy reads: “In accordance with your choice of the privacy settings offered by the Service, by posting or otherwise making available any User Content on or through the Service, you hereby grant, and you represent and warrant that you have all rights necessary to grant, to Vero a limited, royalty-free, sub licensable, transferable, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, worldwide license to use, reproduce, modify, publish, list information regarding, translate, distribute, syndicate, publicly perform, publicly display, make derivative works of, or otherwise use your User Content, including (without limitation) your name, voice, and/or likeness as it is contained within your User Content, in whole or in part, and in any form, media or technology, whether now known or hereafter developed.”
If you didn’t understand what this means, it means they can use anything and everything you post on their app without asking you or compensating you. This goes against the best practices of influencer marketing where we recommend credit is always given, unless otherwise agreed. Vero can and will use and capitalize on your original content. They will not sell your content to third parties, but they can use it for themselves.
In saying that, other social media platforms also have this stance, so while it is aggressive, it is not unusual. Users should just be warned and understand the platforms content laws regarding ownership of content before signing up and publishing on Vero.
3. The platform has received some serious flack for users inability to delete their account.
Mashable published an article regarding this issue, and they say the process to delete the account is shady. They created an account and tried to delete their account, finding that you have to send the company a request to remove your account and wait for a response. Although this is common for many services and online tools, Vero doesn't send any form of notification that ensures your account will be deleted. You can request to cancel your account in the support menu. You should note that this is a paid app, although the first million users received a free account, but now if you want to sign up, it will cost you an annual subscription fee. However, after major technical issues with the influx of active users, Vero has announced the app will remain free “until further notice.”
So, that’s what all of the fuss is about! Will it be the “next big thing” in social media platforms? We’ll have to wait and find out!