Yes, This Is Another Article About VERO For Photographers
I think you should try VERO.
I have heard the nay-sayers. I’ve studied what they say. I have engaged some of them in real conversation. I’ve decided that they generally fall into one of four groups.
1. There are people who legitimately just don’t care for the chronological time line. I respect the fact that some just don’t like it and to them, I say — “enjoy Instagram.”
2. There are some people who are just too tribal. They don’t like the CEO and co-founder of VERO because he’s a Muslim from the Middle East. To them I say — stay off Vero. We don’t want or need you there. They should take this moment to examine their life and ask why they choose to live a life full of hate.
3. There are people who are killing it on Instagram — maybe 1% of the people I know — maybe one one millionth of a percent of the total users. There is a sub-group that thinks they are about to kill it on Instagram because they have a bunch of followers. If Instagram is working for you — you’d be silly not to stick with it. If you think you are about to hit it big there — congrats — but don’t bet the ranch on it. The very vast majority of us don’t make a dime off Instagram and almost NOBODY (especially our own followers) is seeing our posts unless we pay Mark some money (like he needs more?) I ain’t paying and I don’t understand people who do — but it takes all kinds to make a world so have at it.
4. There are people who are justifiably worried that VERO won’t make it because there aren’t enough people there. It’s a question of traction. I totally understand that argument but I have an answer for it — well actually a two-part answer for it.
1. My first answer is — they don’t have enough traction — YET!
2. What does it matter? Seriously. What does it matter? I didn’t have a big following on Instagram. 15,000 people. They were legit followers (I never bought followers, etc.) and it didn’t matter. Engagement was very low. Almost NONE of my followers saw my posts because of the dreaded algorithm…and my refusal to pay Mark.
To this fourth group I have two questions…
a. We all know Insta sucks — many of you have told me about how much it sucks for you — over and over and over. If we don’t at least TRY to make a go of it somewhere else how do we expect to ever get out of Instagram’s clutches? We will be stuck in an infinite loop and it’s just gonna get worse.
b. What does it hurt to open a VERO account AND keep your Instagram account? VERO is free. The CEO says it will be free for life for anyone on the platform now, before they start charging. So you have nothing to loose and everything to gain. If you don’t like it, you can always shut down your account.
My position is you can have both an Instagram and VERO account if you want — and just do SOMETHING — at least something minimal to feed your VERO account to give it a chance. What’s the harm?
I am on VERO several times a day. I love it. I have legitimate interactions with people. I have an incredibly small following of less than 300 people but I get more engagement there than I do on Twitter or Instagram or Facebook. I have much, much, much bigger audiences on all three and it does me no good at all — not at all — because engagement is so low there — (See the part about algorithms and not paying Mark…)
I love the community we’re building at VERO. I am not paid to endorse them. Heck, they don’t even know I exist. I am fine with that. I am not an affiliate (there’s no fee to join so no affiliate bounty to be had.) I am not working with or at the company or with any of its vendors. I am not sponsored by VERO. I don’t have a relationship with anyone working at VERO. I haven’t applied for a job at VERO.
My endorsement is 100% from the heart. I have made a great deal of money off traditional social media (mostly in the old days before it got so nasty) and I can tell you I hate it anyway. I think the current state of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook is gonna help start World War III. I think it’s the most toxic environment on the face of the earth. I think it’s unhealthy. I think it’s populated by bots, and troll farm workers and misinformation and disinformation and all of it posted by people who are hiding in their mom’s basement. It is dividing all of us and I have decided to either shut down some of my accounts (as I have with Instagram) or pause them (as I have with Facebook.) I am still active on Twitter but that’s more out of habit than anything else and I’m not there more than a few minutes a day.
VERO on the other hand is an actually productive, safe, inclusive, cool, space. I actually like spending time there. I look forward to seeing the new posts that show up in my feed each morning. I have no illusions that VERO is gonna dethrone Instagram. But I think if I can help promote it and then some of you reading this decide to try it and like it and do the same — maybe, just maybe we can get enough traction there that people will see it’s better to have a few hundred REAL followers on VERO than a few hundred THOUSAND bots, porn stars, clipping path salesmen, and political crazies that inundate the other services.
If you’re TRULY interested in a thoughtful discussion on VERO and want to know what is ACTUALLY happening there — I suggest two things.
1. Get an account and see for yourself. Don’t let other people think for you.
2. Spend time listening to the interview of VERO’s CEO — Ayman Hariri, conducted by my pal Richard Bernabe on his brilliant Beyond the Lens podcast. (http://www.beyondthelens.fm/ayman-hariri/)
I don’t know how anyone could listen to the discussion Richard had with the CEO of VERO and not be motivated to give it a fair shake.
Lastly, I am on VERO at www.vero.co/scottbourne. If you follow me there, I promise to follow you back. I even accept direct messages on VERO (They do a great job with that) and it’s the only place I accept direct messages. I’ll try to have frank, honest, open, and engaging conversations with anyone on that platform. I will also do anything I can to help photographers who come to VERO in any way I can.
So come on over to VERO. I’ll see you there.
P.S. Here are just some of the reasons I love VERO:
- No algorithm — all your followers get your posts in their feed
- No ads — none
- You can post from any device including the desktop
- No reels
- I like the interface
- The community is genuine
- Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t own VERO
- Human interaction is at the forefront of the app
- You can tailor your posts to a certain faction of your audience or to everyone in your audience
- It’s free
- You don’t have to crop your images to fit a specific format like you do on Instagram — there are also no resolution limits
- Embedded links are clickable on VERO — they are not on Instagram