Lauren St.Clair/ The Phoenix News
Lauren St.Clair/ The Phoenix News

Labour lawsuits, crashes, and impending user fees stand in the way of Vero’s long-term relevance.

Vero has a few glitches to sort out before it can trump social media rivals Facebook and Instagram.

The new social media platform gained widespread attention last week when customers saw in Vero an opportunity to regain the much-missed chronological feed recently scrapped by Instagram. The app crashed as it approached one million users, and as a result, Vero is now offering free membership to new users for an undisclosed period of time. However, technical glitches aside, Vero’s success may be stifled by the recently discovered identity of its billionaire founder Ayman Hariri. According to Gulf Digital News, in 2017, Hariri’s construction firm Saudi Oger was sued by over 30,000 employees over unpaid wages. This news led to widespread backlash on social media, with innumerable users scrambling to delete the app from their phones. However, for those who are tired of Facebook’s incessant advertisements and frustrating content sharing algorithms, Vero is a refreshing alternative.

“…technical glitches aside, Vero’s success may be stifled by the recently discovered identity of its billionaire founder Ayman Hariri.”

According to Vero’s manifesto, “The feed is composed of your posts and the posts of people you’re either connected with or people you follow. We don’t curate it, manipulate it, insert advertising in it, or hold back posts.”

If you have ever created a promotional page on Facebook, you may have noticed a pattern of growth. Initially, your page enjoys lots of views, likes, and shares from friends, but after a while, things stagnate. This is not a coincidence. Facebook’s algorithms are set up to favour those pages that promote themselves, or regularly boost posts, and this costs money. Vero, on the other hand, has built its platform on the idea that all content should get the same opportunity to be seen. Further, Vero’s creator believes that users should have access to content that interests them free of charge—for now, anyway. Eventually, Vero will be asking for a small subscription fee in order to use the app.