Monday, 26 February 2018

Vero - my initial observations

For anyone floating around online over the weekend, maybe you’ll have come across at least one friend mentioning Vero… it’s a social media platform that’s actually been around since 2015, but which for some reason has had the most enormous flurry of hype over the past few days. With the tagline ‘True Social’, they’re marketing themselves as a more true-to-life way of sharing your activites and ideas. I only signed up two days ago, but I’ve had a chance to find my way around a bit, and have straightened out my thoughts into something that might be interesting for another newbie to read… 


THINGS I LIKE

I LOVE the flexibility of having everything within one account on Vero. At the click of a button, I can set anything I post to be shown to all of my followers, or just to close friends/family, and there are even 2 ‘levels’ inbetween! This means that I don’t have to choose between having a personal and a business account - and therefore maintaining both, and it means I don’t have to search my soul too much before sharing a photo of my children (however, I am mindful that there are always risks online, so no bashing there please!) The only problem was choosing my user name, ie whether to be Liz Chan or Fickle Craftroom!

I also ruddy love that the Vero feed is chronological (no stupid algorithm hiding posts from me anymore – yay!), and I think that this one feature alone will pull a LOT of people away from Instagram. I even wonder whether this will cause IG to rethink the very unpopular changes they made last year... and whether they might even be too late...? I realise this is probably a little bit premature of me, but food for thought nonetheless? If I scroll for long enough, I will get to see everything posted by the people I have chosen to follow (y’hear that, Instagram?!). I feel sad that little gems of accounts that I’ve stumbled across get buried beneath the big boys sometimes, and I’ve seen the algorithm damage a lot of small indie businesses this way.


ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT

One thing that’s really good about Facebook these days though, is the community feel, specifically talking about the groups. At the moment I do feel a little bit isolated on Vero (obviously this is partly caused by the app being so new, and so I don’t yet have the same number of followers, connections etc yet). Hopefully this will get better the more I myself reach out and interact, but I do think that a group functionality would be a great addition – especially as Vero is potentially one app containing the best bits of FB and IG.

I’ve realised that I do actually really like the grid layout of Instagram; I can see at a quick glance if an account is one I want to follow, whilst also seeing the larger format images in my feed. I don’t really want to spend too much time scrolling through a person’s page in the very first instance. Also, whilst the book recommendations etc have their place, and could be useful if that’s what I was actively seeking, I just don’t want to have to wade through all of that to get to the good stuff.

One thing I'm not sure of yet, is how to find people without knowing their exact user names. Ideally I'd like Vero to give me suggestions of people to follow, based on my interests, my existing followees, or by importing contacts from Insta or Facebook (they don’t yet have this capability). If I could easily find people then this would also contribute to lessening the isolated feel too.

It wasn’t especially clear at first what the difference was between ‘following’ and ‘connecting’ with someone. Turns out that following is kind of like what you do on Instagram with other accounts. Connecting is more like becoming ‘friends’ with someone on Facebook (also – when you connect with someone, Vero asks you to categorise them as a close friend, friend, or acquaintance. This will later help you to filter who can see your posts accordingly.


In conclusion, I’m very excited by what this new app, and the potential it has to offer – I just need all my friends to join now, to keep me company!  I’m going to send a link to this post to Vero themselves, and report back on any feedback I get, so I’ll keep you posted!

If you have anything to add, or can help me with any of the above, I'd love to read your comments!

P.S. come find me on there! I'm Liz - Fickle Craftroom ;-)