I recently watched Peter McKinnon’s video about the downfall of Instagram (https://youtu.be/-NoxCtW5MBE). It is a video promoting VERO using all the negatives of Instagram.
I was intrigued because I really like Instagram – no, I have to say: I really liked Instagram. Instagram, for me, was always this place that I could use as my ‘gallery’. I liked the simplicity of posting, and – although I don’t have many followers – you had this feeling of being with like-minded people. Peter McKinnon talked about the community on Instagram. And how all of it is now lost because your timeline is filled with 90% of rubbish and videos. I completely agree. I understand that they have to change and try to keep you engaged by throwing some TikTok-style algorithms at you, but it really changed my use of Instagram. No, I really do not watch videos of pugs!
Anyways, in the end, I agree with what Peter McKinnon says about Instagram. I felt the same way and have tried to find an alternative for the past months. I tried many other platforms, but they did not stick. I don’t even remember the names of those other platforms. Peter talks about VERO, and at first, I was like, ‘Oh well – another platform I am going to try but quickly forget about again.’
Only that this time, I think I have found something I will stick with.
Instagram meets Pinterest meets LinkedIn meets
After signing up, the very first thing I obviously tried was uploading a photo. And that’s where it immediately clicked with me: I saw that you can post anything – photos (whole galleries), music, movies, books, etc. – this place is like Pinterest but much better!
You can literally use it as a replacement for Pinterest and create your own idea boards. For every post, you can set it to ‘private’. VERO also distinguishes between ‘Connections’ (in three levels: Close friends, friends, and acquaintances) and ‘Followers/Following’. It is actually quite similar to LinkedIn, where you can connect with peers, but then you have people that you can just follow. For example, I know that Peter McKinnon would not accept my ‘friend’-request, but I can simply follow him.
When you post something, you can share it with your connections and/or the whole world (or, as mentioned before, keep it for yourself).
You could create galleries that you share with your close friends, a song with everyone, a recently read book with acquaintances, add a game you want to play as ‘private’, or share a link with the world.
Of course, this adds a bit of complexity, in my opinion, because you have to think about who to share what with. Still, I believe VERO implemented it nicely using a little slider that shows you immediately with what audience you will share. I also think this will be the secret sauce for building strong communities on the platform.
An iPad app? YES!
It was never a priority for Instagram to release an iPad, tablet, or desktop app while you can actually manage your stream using a browser. VERO, on the other hand, is app-first. You can check your (public) profile Using a browser, but you cannot log in and manage your profile, for example. My VERO profile can be accessed via https://vero.co/hafur.
Why do I have to see those dogs?
It is a game changer for my workflow as I am an iPad-first user. These days I use a laptop only whenever I am actually working, and then it is my company’s laptop which I do not use to access anything I use privately.
VERO’s app for the iPad is excellent, and I enjoy flipping through other users’ streams.
Ok, VERO is the new thing but are there any downsides?
It is too early to say if VERO is THE replacement for Instagram. Also, will there ever be a replacement for Instagram? They are changing how their app works, but they will find new users who enjoy using those new features, like focusing on video content and moving that whole thing towards a TikTok experience. It is not my cup of tea.
On the other hand, I like the approach of VERO, which also embraces videos, ‘reels, and things like that. But it does it in a much less intrusive way. I choose what I want to see.
I have used VERO now for a week, and I personally did not find any vast showstoppers. One thing I wish that was possible is to add tags to your stream. For example, I would like to see photos in my stream tagged as #fujixpro2. It seems so obvious, but I could not figure it out in VERO.
I really like VERO and the way the photo stream works. I am in the ‘driver seat’ – I am in control. There seems to be no algorithm that decides what I should see. There are no pugs that randomly show up.
I think I found a new place to share photos and enjoy watching photos from other photographers.
Follow me: https://vero.co/hafur