Over the last 24 hours, the new social media sharing app 'VERO' has dramatically captured the attention of Australian individuals, more specifically, Australian artists. Setting aside the fact that individual users and businesses worldwide are leaving Instagram, (VERO's direct competitor) due to feeling frustration about infuriating market focused algorithms (which is undoubtedly a key factor in this fleeting bandwagon), we want to know why VERO is getting artists over the subscription line.
After watching an influx of stories and updates posted by artist's via social media (ironically via Instagram) we found ourselves very curious about this new hype and spent about an hour googling it.
SO HERE'S WHAT WE KNOW:
- The app will eventually cost money to download and subscribe, but is currently free to the first million people who download it. The amount of people currently subscribed is unknown but considering the VERO twitter following is only 11.5K and the actual 'VERO' profile on the 'VERO' app is 60K+ and as of 5 minutes ago, over 3 Million people on Facebook are "talking about it," who knows if they're nearing a million users, are over a million users or a simply making it feel like we're in on something early?
- VERO has been transparent about the fact that it will eventually charge people to have a subscription, as well as a cut of money made from products sold through the app, taking commission in the "single digits", However the same source as web referenced above said the app made £8,250 commission on an approximate 1 million dollar online sale of a vintage Aston Martin DB5 in October 2016
- VERO was founded by Lebanese heir billionaire, Ayman Hariri (son of the assassinated former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hariri) according to CNBC who published an article about VERO in 2016 (read here) however when looking into Ayman Hariri's Wikipedia page, there is no mention of VERO. We're also unsure who any of the other co-founder are - it could be investors from Instagram, for all we know!
- A 2016 description of the online app by various google sourced states it was target as "A social network for grown-up people and superhero fans." This makes very little sense to us, it sounds juvenile and border line inappropriate.
- While there is apparently no purchased / advertised posting available within the VERO app, businesses and companies are able to create profiles, and "influencers" can promote brands/businesses/posts as they do on other forms of social media. Although there's currently no money on the table for advertisers, we wonder how long it will be until influencers and high connection brands are paying outside the app to individual users for content to be posted.
- An article from September 2016 stated "VERO sorts the types of things people generally like to share into six categories: movies, music, books, websites, places and photo,. " source: here . It's interesting to us how VERO is peeking in the Australian artist's network, while "art" was never an intended category - could it be that the social and influential value of contemporary art is inherently much more than we know? Did artists change the market direction for social media entirely? Probs.
So - that's what we know! But a lot of questions remain: A few of ours include:
- Will VERO become a business platform if it allows influences and businesses to dominate it's social feed, or will it eventually serve as a more loyal artist community that's?
- How long will it take to rebuild a following (loyal or brought) like Instagram?
- Will artist's turn to VERO for real time posting exclusively since 40-80% of Instagram users believe their work is no longer being seen by their followers?
Is VERO a dramatically positive change for the world of social media sharing, or it this just another billionaire, with a billion dollar app, looking for an easy million users?
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