I just now realized, this very moment, that when my friend/business associate Erik asked me at lunch the other day if I’d ever held a bitcoin in my hand after I joked about paying for the meal with the cryptocurrency, he was messing with me.
Because, digital currency. Duh.
It only took me 51 hours to get the joke.
Welcome to March. In like a lyin‘, I guess.
Have you guys heard about this Vero app that’s suddenly all the rage? If not, you’re probably living under a rock, because it’s been all over the internet. (If by chance you are living under a rock, got any room for me down there? The news is nothing but bad these days, man. Ignorance is bliss.)
I started seeing people on Instagram post about opening Vero accounts last weekend. So many were doing so that my curiosity was naturally piqued and I googled it to find out what all the fuss was about. And learned that Vero (“true social,” they call it) was being touted as “the new Instagram.”
I’m a huge fan of the old Instagram, but I’ll admit I was intrigued by the Vero premise:
- Posts are sorted chronologically
- It is completely ad-free
- You can divide your followers into groups (acquaintances, friends, close friends, and followers) and post specific content tailored toward each group
- The app gives you a soothing back rub after a bad day
OK, one of those statements is a ringer. But I’m not telling you which one. You won’t get that information out of me!
Those promises, coupled with the fact that the first million users get free subscriptions for life (they plan to charge a nominal fee in the future in order to earn revenue) convinced me to download Vero to check it out for myself. Because its sudden surge in popularity overwhelmed its servers, there have been widespread reports of issues with the app: problems signing up, logging on, and posting. Fortunately, I have encountered few issues myself.
No sooner had I downloaded Vero than the backlash began. There’s controversy over its co-founder and CEO, a Lebanese billionaire linked to a construction company that went out of business last year, leaving its workers unpaid and mistreated. (To be fair, these reports fail to mention that Ayman Hariri left the company four years earlier and no longer had any association with it when they went belly up.) But bad publicity is a killer, so maybe the app is already dead. Vero will most likely be another flash in the pan, much like Peach, Ello, and Mastodon, all of which were declared the “hot new social media apps” before quickly flaming out. Hell, by the time you read this post, Vero may already be history.
But just in case it turns into something big, I’m in. I’ve always wanted to be an early adopter, and while I was the first person on my block to own a DVD player, I have been notoriously slow in catching on to other things in life. I couldn’t be bothered to pay for a computer in the early 2000s because, hey, I had WebTV! I never got into MySpace or “Arrested Development” when they were all the rage, either. It even took me a few years to discover Instagram, my go-to app for the past couple of years. Just once I’d like to get in on the ground floor, so I’m pulling for you, Vero. Don’t let me down, buddy.
My initial thoughts are positive. The layout is clean and professional; I like the dark color scheme. It resembles a night-vision version of Instagram. I like that your posts aren’t limited to photos and video; you can also share or recommend books, music, and movies, and even post text updates. It’s sort of like a combination of Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, borrowing the best features of each and leaving out the really annoying things, like ads, fake news, and random sorting.
We’ll see if it takes off or crashes and burns.
Countdown: 114 Days