Vero might be the new Instagram. But it's rather more complicated.
The app has taken off over the last few days, with many hoping that it will solve the problems people have been having with the Facebook-owned app. Artists, celebrities and others are flocking to the new app – which isn't actually that new at all, having been around for years.
The app is rather difficult to use and find your way around. And that's if you can even actually use it at all, since for many people the app isn't working and won't load.
Here's everything you need to know if you want to start using the confusing new app.
What is Vero?
It hopes to be the next Instagram. It's taking on the Facebook-owned app with a range of different features, including a chronological timeline and no ads.
But for now it's just yet another social media platform, albeit one that's getting a huge amount of hype. Even though it aims to set itself against Instagram, it's worth thinking about it much the same, though it has more precise ways of controlling your friends, uploading different kinds of content and chatting, among other things.
Is it free?
Yes. For now.
The company is committed not to go through the traditional way of making money: there'll be no ads, it claims, and it won't intrusively collect information about its users.
All of that means the company will have to fund itself in another way. And that's going to be through an annual subscription – it's not clear how much it's going to cost, but it's not expected to be a lot.
With all of that out of the way, here's how to actually use the thing.
Actually getting onto Vero is relatively simple: download it from the app store, go through the sign-up process, and get online. The app will ask for all sorts of things – including for you to be sent a text message, and for access to your contacts – and then you'll be online.
Or you should be, at least. The popularity of Vero means that it's breaking down for many people. If you're trying to sign up but it doesn't seem to be working, it probably isn't – so restart the app and see if that sorts anything, and if not wait until the Vero servers are behaving.
This applies to everything else below, too: sometimes the app just stops working entirely. Again, if something weird appears to be happening then it's probably not working, so just give it a moment.
First up, you'll need to find some friends to share your posts with. Thankfully, the app does that automatically when you first sign in – looking through your contacts list and finding people that you might know.
So you can get to adding those. The app will ask you how you know those people – whether they're just an acquaintance or a close friend – and you should click on the circles that apply. This is important because Vero works something like the way Google+ was supposed to, arranging people into different groups and then allowing you to share more or less with each of them.
Not everybody needs to be your friend. If you just want to follow someone – if they're famous, for instance, or an artist you admire but just want to be kept up to date with rather than befriend – you should only click the "follow" button and not the "connect" one, so that you'll stay up to date with all of their posts.
Once that's all done you'll head into the app. But it'll bring up a notification whenever someone you might know signs up, so keep an eye out for those. And if you'd like to find people, then press the little head icon at the top, and click where it says "connections" – there, you can click the little "+" button and find people it thinks you might know, features accounts, and the ability to search for specific people.
Seeing their posts
Once you've got some friends, you're going to want to see what they're posting. (If they are posting at all.)
Like basically every other app, Vero is built around a central feed, into which everything your friends post falls. And unlike other apps like Instagram, that feed is purely chronological – you might miss some important posts, but theoretically you'll be able to see everything if you scroll down far enough.
The feed is the first thing you'll see when you open the app but you can also get to it by clicking the "VERO" logo in the top-left corner – that'll take you back home and you can see everything that everyone is doing.
On the posts themselves, you can interact in all the ways you'd expect. Look at the bottom of the post for the little three dots to comment, or press on the heart to "like" it.
Posting your own
Vero is being touted as the new Instagram, but one of the key ways that it differs from that app is that you can post many other different kinds of media.
They're all done by clicking the large "+" that's at the bottom of the screen whenever you're looking at the feed. That will bring up a range of different options: not only "camera", which allows you take to pictures or upload old ones, but also "link", "book", or place, all of which will be attached to the post when you share it.
The bar at the top of the screen tells you everything you can do with the app. As well as looking at your profile, you can chat, view things in your feed organised into collections, see your notifications, search or have a look at your profile. Most of those are self-explanatory.
But the important one is the small profile link, represented by a head in a circle. Hiding in there is all the important things – it's where you can click on "connections" to change up your friends list, and click on settings to adjust the way the app works.
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