What Filipinos need to know about Vero, the hot Instagram alternative

Darryl Esguerra
PUBLISHED March 13, 2018 04:49 pm
Inside Manila File Photo

(Inside Manila) Vero, a photo-sharing app launched in 2015, is the latest app to benefit from the growing number of Instagram users being fed up with the platform becoming more and more like Facebook. So before the social media app tickles the attention of Filipinos, the undisputed top social media users in the world, here are some things we need to know about Vero.

Vero, which means “truth” in Latin, tags itself as an “ad-free social network that lets you be yourself." It is the brainchild of billionaire businessman Ayman Hariri, son of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Hariri, who, according to Forbes, has a net worth of $1.33 billion, told CNBC that he started the app because he was frustrated with the privacy policies of ad-based social networks.

Hariri's last gig was as the deputy CEO of a construction company, Saudi Oger, that treated its migrant workers so poorly the Saudi Arabian government had to intervene.

While Hariri was at the company, more than 31,000 workers filed suit against the company for unpaid wages. One Filipino worker even hanged himself in despair, according to a report from Bloomberg.

The app is very similar to Instagram. It lets users share text and URLs, as well as recommendations for books, TV shows, and movies.

The app's biggest distinction from current social networks is that it sorts posts in reverse-chronological feed, not algorithmically. You can also browse posts from your connections by type or browse popular hashtags. 

Vero also emphasizes its privacy policies. It says it only collects a minimal amount of data about its users, like their names, email addresses and phone numbers, but doesn't provide data to advertisers or other third parties.

So how does it make money?

Because there are no ads on the platform, Vero says it will eventually rely on user subscriptions for the bulk of its revenue, meaning, it has yet to earn money. The company hasn't begun to implement subscriptions yet but soon, users will eventually be required to pay "a small annual fee."



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