Will Vero be your next social network?

by Volker Weber

Screenshot 20180227-144835~2[7198]

The closest I ever got to the perfect social network was Path, eight years ago, when they would only allow you to have 50 friends. It allowed you to quickly share photos with your best friends without worrying too much about going public with everything. At the time, Facebook was already acting weird. But then Path needed to make their investors happy with growth and it all went downhill from there.

Google+ was the next one, but it's circles were too difficult to understand, and somehow Google ended up being the bad guy and Facebook the good one. Weird. I have friends who still use Google+, but it never resonated with many of them. Then came Ello, and it launched before it was mobile. That was a missed opportunity. Like Google+ it still exists, but it did not pull people away from Facebook.

Vero might be the next dead social network, and they just don't know it yet. It has two interesting properties:

When you post something to your timeline, you can share it with only your close friends, your friends, your acquaintences or your followers. It's like Googe+ circles, just a lot easier. People you connected to don't know in which bucket they are. I set myself simple rules: acquaintences are people I actually know and met, friends have been at my house, close friends have stayed here.

Currently Vero is completely overwhelmed by its sudden popularity. Give it a few days until the situation improves.

More >


This is where you and I differ in the needs of a social network.

To my mind, there are two aspects. The needs for "Friends" and the need for "Interests". If I post only to my friends about Domino 90% will say "What?" and the other 10% will fall asleep. If I post about drinks down the pub, then some of my friends would respond.

I don't use social media because I care about the meal you just had or the fact you achieved your steps goal for the day, but if you post about BlackBerry devices then that is a common interest of mine.

Facebook is a friends based social media network. To me, it's useless. Google+ is a Community/Interest based social media network and it's more closely aligned with what I want. Vero seems to be a friends one, therefore it's not for me.

I suppose it depends on your needs. To me, I want signal, not noise.

Dragon Cotterill, 2018-02-27

I'm probably weird (in fact, I know I am, but for other reasons), but I kind of like Facebook for what it does well. Loathe it for what it does not do well, but overall I feel I'm actually getting a benefit out of it.
Which is strange - as a techie I should probably completely hate it. Everyone else seems to.

I like to think I'm aware of the drawbacks. My data becoming my payment for using the apparently free site. The filter bubble effect, the way it's easily spammed and manipulated, etc.

But I like the ease of sharing with "friends", the FB groups which allow an easy exchange between likeminded individuals. Lots of people post on FB, so it's an easy way to keep up-to-date with lots of people. An old schoolmate recently married. I saw it because he posted on FB. He certainly didn't give me a call (or an invite). Why should he? But nevertheless, I now know. And could reach out and congratulate him. Nice!

FB simply currently has the advantage of scale / reach: The fact that everyone's on it means it's so easy to connect. Meet someone interesting on holiday? Ping - connect. Visit an interesting place, restaurant, etc.? Like and follow it and stay updated.
It's an interesting challenge - how do you make your new social network site gain traction if there are not enough people on it yet to demonstrate the benefits? Google tried doing that by shoving Google+ down everyone's throat. That still didn't work.

The features of Vero you describe certainly sound interesting.

Daniel Tietze, 2018-02-27

I tried Ello (because Volker wrote about it). I still have an account.
But my enthusiasm faded after a while because most of the content was far from my own interests and there was no one I knew.
I'm willing to try Vero because it sounds promising and the app looks nice. I even signed up before Volker wrote about it. But yes, they have massive problems. For several days it's impossible to connect with other people or post content. We will see how it develops in the near future. But I fear Vero will be the next Ello.

Tobias Vogel, 2018-02-27

@Daniel: I'm absolutely with you. Following the activities of friends, events and places with ease is the real benefit of Facebook. I try to ignore the rest and live with the "inconveniences" as long as no other social network comes close.

Tobias Vogel, 2018-02-27

I guess you are aware that you can do exact the same separation thing with Facebook: just put your contacts into groups. Then you can decide for each post, picture or album who can see it.

Oliver Regelmann, 2018-02-27

No more Facebook for me.

Volker Weber, 2018-02-27

You can follow someone on FB as well (or let people follow you). Followers see everything that is posted publicly. Seems to be pretty much the same functionality as on Vero

Armin Grewe, 2018-02-27

What about the background of VERO? The guy who owns and sponsors it right now? I am not on FB, or any other Social Network, simply because i like to converse with people one-on-one. And yes, most of my Friends dont understand :-)

Chris frei, 2018-02-27

I had a play with Vero yesterday - although it took some time to make my first post due to their overwhelmed servers. I'm interested but at this point not amazed.

@Volker - reading your post brought back fond memories of G+. I still visit occasionally - but don't post anymore. I guess this means I'm a friends based on interest type person.

Ian Bradbury, 2018-02-28

With regard to your question: no. I am on a severe facebook diet with still some Instagram. That's all.

Ingo Seifert, 2018-02-28

Yes, you can follow people on Facebook. And you can connect to them.

What you cannot do, is see what these people actually posts. Facebook only shows you content they think will keep you longer on Facebook. Why? So they can show you ads. That is the only purpose of Facebook. Everything else only serves that purpose.

Volker Weber, 2018-02-28

While a feed reader shows you all updates from all the sources you follow, FB/Instagram indeed make a selection. For FB (the company), showing all updates could work if its users would scroll through the whole list (including the ads). Apparently, this is not the case (I assume they test this kind of assumptions).
Since I read different news sources, FB is an additional source - mostly of like-minded opinions (the bubble). The baby pictures and cycling/running updates are a kind of entertainment (like linear television, you can't watch everything). When Vero has enough users to make it interesting for me to follow a few, I'll probably give it a try.
If people wanted to tell *me* something, instead of broadcasting it, they'd use sms/messenger/whatsapp/signal/hangouts/... Spoiler: they don't.

Jan Van Puyvelde, 2018-02-28

As I see it, having a social media app that will charge you a fee should be worth *a lot* because it means that *you* are the customer.

It has taken years to realize that the statement “there is no free lunch” also applies to the internet. I wish people would draw the consequences.

Frank Quednau, 2018-02-28

Lot's of backlash against Vero - https://www.cnet.com/news/deletevero-campaign-spawned-by-concerns-over-founders-past/

Daniel Silva, 2018-03-01

That should help their current bandwidth problems.

Volker Weber, 2018-03-01

While the part about his past is legitimate, the part about the rights applies to every single social network or other site where you can upload content. And that exact same "controversy" bubbles up somewhere every couple of months. Will people ever learn?

Armin Grewe, 2018-03-01

No, they won't. I am ignore the noise.

Volker Weber, 2018-03-01

Old vowe.net archive pages

I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


Paypal vowe