Vero Vs Instagram – Is True Social possible?
At PhotoHound we do love to share a beautiful photo location! We also thrive on seeing the results when photographers in our community share their favourite shots from locations they’re exploring. Instagram has been a great platform for us as curators to showcase and celebrate our PhotoHounders’ most eye-catching shots and spots. Today we’re taking a look at Vero, a relatively new social media platform, and asking; Vero Vs Instagram – is true social possible? Recently we’ve started sharing on Vero in addition to our posts on the better known platforms; Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Since it’s re-emergence, Vero has positioned itself as a more authentic and personal alternative to Instagram. In their words, they have built an app that “allows you to just be yourself” – true social. But is a more positive form of social media really possible?
In this article we take a look at Vero in comparison with Instagram, and take a look at what we as photographers look for in true social.
First, and perhaps foremost for us, Vero allows users to connect with one another without the use of algorithms, hashtags, or sponsored content. Instagram, on the other hand, uses algorithms to surface content, and more and more we’re having to rely on hashtags and sponsored content to increase the visibility of posts. Algorithm-free is a win in our eyes!
Vero’s feed is chronological, meaning that posts are displayed in the order they were posted. You simply pick up from where you left off, so it’s easy to catch up on what you’ve missed since last opening the app. On the other hand, Instagram’s algorithm-based approach means that posts are shown to users based on their engagement with the app and then dictated by the platform. For us, this offers a more real experience – we like the fact that you actually see the posts of those you choose to follow.
Content & Connections
Vero allows users to post photos, videos, films, music and books, so you can truly engage with like-minded people and the most relevant content to you. You can even click on live links (come on Instagram – keep up!)
In addition, Vero users can classify their audiences and share with who they want to, more like in real life; close friends, friends, acquaintances or followers. Our feelings are that these two features will help with building genuinely connected and meaningful communities.
There are no bots on Vero – likes and comments are therefore much more likely to be made by real humans. This gets a big thumbs up as far as we’re concerned even if for now we have fewer comments than on Instagram. We’ve never been big on the idea ‘buying’ followers. Honest interactions, even if fewer of them, are gold in our book.
Vero doesn’t have ads and doesn’t sell user data to third parties, while Instagram (owned by Facebook) has a robust advertising platform – you are the product! Instead, Vero takes a small cut of any sale facilitated through its platform (a subscription model may follow, but we get that). This feels to us like Vero users are Customers and the platform is the Product; a very fresh approach and one we have been keen to adopt with PhotoHound.
For now Instagram has a much larger user base than Vero, which means that it has a wider reach and can offer more opportunities for businesses and influencers to connect with potential customers. But inevitably with that comes more ads and more need for algorithms! And just how meaningful are those connections? In time this balance may well change as photographers become increasingly frustrated with Instagram’s unpopular algorithms.
Vero’s user interface is minimalist and simple and geared towards a beautiful visual experience, something we as photographers can truly appreciate. There’s no getting away from the fact that Vero’s design is easy on the eye – we love it!
A big problem for photographers on Instagram is that the network forces you to upload or crop images to fit the network’s standards (eg 4:5 for vertical images, or a square 1:1 ratio for horizontal images rather then their full size). With Vero, full sized images can be uploaded and displayed beautifully and for that reason alone we’re hooked! Even zooming in on a photo works like a dream.
Is true social possible?
So we started this by asking Vero Vs Instagram – is True Social possible? And we think yes, Vero is definitely on the right path, especially as far as photographers and photography are concerned: beautiful design; ad-free; customers, not products; genuine connections within meaningful communities. There are undoubtedly a few glitches to resolve and some additional features Vero could benefit from, and you’ll need to be patient if your only goal is to reach a much wider audience. But on the upside, it’s probably as close to true social as you can get.
What are your experiences of Vero? Have you made the switch or are you posting on both platforms like us? We’d love to hear your views.
Find us @photohound on Vero or on Instagram – you choose!