Why You Shouldn’t Put Your Brand On Vero
Article Published by: forbes
Vero is the new app-du-jour that’s tearing up the charts and is so popular that its servers keep melting and it’s hard to stay up. Sound familiar? It should, the story is as old as time but it’s unlikely to make it beyond SXSW. Why? Facebook won’t let it steal one ounce of thunder from its money-making and good PR machine that is Instagram.
Vero is a very similar offering to Instagram except a few – but key – differences; there are no ads (just like Instagram started out with), there’s no algorithm (just like Instagram started with) and you have comments that kind of make a mini-review (just like Instagram) that they then monetise. What’s new? A subscription model after the first million users (the first million get in free – a neat trick but will it dry up when money is required? Time will tell. It’s all here on Vero’s manifesto.
My issue? We’ve been here before (Peach, Ello…the list goes on) and they aren’t doing so great now. The weird sign-up/early access mechanic, the buzz and the rage against things people don’t really care that much about per data from eMarketer, Facebook or anyone. It’s all be seen before. Advertising is a necessary evil and without it – even with a firm subscription model – anything is unlikely to do anything other than burn money. My issue is that the current climate isn’t conducive to this sort of platform succeeding – ask Snap or anyone else. There are big, tough, often immovable entities (FANG/ATW) that now have to fight to keep eyes and while disruption always comes from the bottom left-hand corner of the user graph.
The issue is that Instagram – for all its faults – is a great tool that brands can and should use to reach relevant users using the targeting platform that Facebook has built and refined over the many years it has been around. It’s the best tool that there has ever been and with the right brain and money, huge things can happen. While it’s good to champion new platforms and ‘innovation’ like Vero, there are also business realities that need to be considered whether you are a large company or a small one.
There are green shoots everywhere, the Salon mining model, for example, but we are unlikely to see anything offer significant opposition to advertising (before Blockchain really gets going) on sites like Vero. The big boys and girls don’t like this sort of upstart and can squash it in a second. Now if Apple or Google buy it, we will have a very different headline but for right now this is one resource stretcher no brand likely needs.
About Jaime Bonetti Zeller
Jaime Bonetti Zeller is an investment professional and entrepreneur with businesses in multiple industries. He is president of Servicios Consulares Eurodom, the local partner in the Caribbean region for VFS Global, a leader global outsourcing and technology services specialist for diplomatic missions and governments worldwide. Jaime Bonetti Zeller also started the company Sofratesa de Panama inc., an organization in the engineering services industry located in Panama City.