Welcome to David Pogue’s Rated:App series. Each week, I’ll install whatever is the No. 1 bestselling app on the iOS or Android store and review it, to save you the effort in case it’s a turkey. If you’re viewing this on your phone, in an app or Facebook or Twitter, the video plays vertically — it fits your screen exactly, so you can see what it’d look like if you were running the app yourself!
When I started this series, I was sort of worried. What if the No. 1 app every week was the same? What if it’s the Facebook or Instagram app, week after week?
So far, that hasn’t happened. In fact, the app that popped up at the top spot this week — briefly — is a total shock. It’s been around since 2015, it’s got only a 2.2 rating out of 5 on the app stores, and it wasn’t even in the top 100 last week. What’s going on!?
The app is Vero (rhymes with “arrow”). It’s a social network, modeled on Instagram. And its sudden arrival in the top spot has to do with an announcement the company made: That the
In other words, the app’s sudden surge is based on FOMO, the fear of missing out. People rushed to grab Vero, just in case it someday becomes a thing.
Vero is basically Instagram — a scrolling infini-list of photos posted by your friends, with the option to leave comments or “like” them — with a few enhancements:
- It has a dark design — black background.
- The “newsfeed” posts appear chronologically. On Instagram, by contrast, mysterious algorithms determine which posts you see, and in which order — a setup that a lot of people despise.
- There’s no advertising. That’s why the company plans to charge people to use Vero.
- The company says that it won’t collect any data on how you use the service.
- What you can post is more flexible than what Instagram permits. Photos can be any shape, and you can also post links to books, movies, TV shows, or places.
- Each time you post, you can specify which of your social circles gets to see it: Friends, Close Friends, Acquaintances, or Followers. (Yes, this means that every time you add a friend, you must specify which category that person falls in.) Shades of Google+.</li></ul><figure class=”canvas-image Mx(a) canvas-atom My(24px)