If you’re tuned into social media trends, you’ve probably heard some buzz about Vero, an emerging social media app that aims to compete with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. Vero found near overnight popularity by offering free accounts to the first million users, making it the No. 1 social media app on iTunes as of Feb. 27. At this point, Vero’s popularity has surpassed the one million subscriber mark and they extended the offer to even more users.
But we’ve seen this before – Meerkat, Ping, Orkut and others have dropped on to the scene as disruptors, only to fizzle out after the initial buzz dies.
Vero’s differentiators seem to be unique: it’s a no-ad platform with no algorithm. Their mission is to create a “more authentic” social media platform that “makes our users our customers, not advertisers.”
Though the staying power of Vero still has yet to be determined, its emergence and quick rise to popularity speaks volumes about what users want from a social media experience – an ad-free experience that doesn’t use algorithms to push posts up based on popularity.
Essentially, people want transparency – and as PR pros who work in the digital and social space, we can use this lesson to fuel our work both on and off the channels. We’ll be interested to see how these “ad-free” channels may impact the future of digital advertising, but one thing is clear: transparency in both paid and organic messaging is highly valued by consumers.