Vero has become the most downloaded social app in 18 countries including America and the UK

After Kylie Jenner’s infamous tweet a little over a week ago which read: “Sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me… ugh this is so sad,” the Internet panicked and Snapchat’s stock tanked $1.3 billion the next day. Such is the fickle nature of social media apps and we’ve seen a few bubble bursts – anyone else remember Vine?

While a few social apps fall from great heights, equally, there are others that enjoy a meteoric rise. Take for example Vero, a social media sharing app that was launched in 2015, but has only gone absolutely viral in the last few days. It took a little under three years to get to its first million, but now its reportedly rocketed from one to three million in a matter of days. It’s become one of the most downloaded social apps worldwide in Apple’s App Store and Google Play’s Android App store. Last Monday, it was the top-ranking app in the app stores. It’s become the most downloaded social app in 18 countries including America and the UK.

Vero is the brainchild of Riyadh-based Lebanese billionaire Ayman Hariri who, according to Forbes, has a net worth of $1.3 billion. If that last name sounds familiar, it’s because you’re likely thinking of Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri who happens to be the stepbrother of Ayman. Their father, the former prime minister of Lebanon, was assassinated in 2005.VeroThe rise of Vero can be viewed as a rebellion against Instagram. Vero does what Instagram doesn’t. For example, you can share links, text-based status updates and even recommendations on Vero. Vero also gives its users more access over who views the content that they post. For example, you can segregate your followers into groups like friends, acquaintances or followers and then share only select posts with each group.

If you’re browsing through your feed instead of posting, you’ll realise that posts are arranged in reverse chronological order and not determined by algorithms.

Also, unlike most social media giants who are notorious for mining your data and then using it to pitch targeted advertisements, Vero has said that it will be ad-free. The business will be subscription-based and Vero is expected to soon roll out a pricing structure for the use of its app. It initially offered a “lifetime usage for free” for the first million users, but has now extended that offer to all new sign-ups for a limited period of time. Around 50 per cent of the app’s users are between 21- to 40-years-old, and 68 per cent of them are male.

Vero also has another revenue generator by way of a “Buy Now” feature that allows brands and influencers to sell their products via their posts. The app will in turn charge a transaction fee to the merchants. To prevent scams, Vero will vet accounts and their capability to fulfil orders before allotting the Buy Now button to them.

Vero is a long way from posing a serious threat to Instagram, although it’s beginning to look like it is indeed the first formidable and credible threat to Instagram.