Could Vero Challenge Instagram as The Best Platform for Exhibiting Your Work Online?

by guest blogger Flora Dallas

What is the potential of this newly popular social media site, and could it be a perfect vehicle to share your art?


Will Vero supplant Instagram as the best platform for artists? Read about it at


Members of the artistic community would have been hard-pressed to miss the hype that has surrounded Vero in the past week or so. Despite having launched three years ago, the social networking app has maintained a relatively low profile in the past with a stable usership of 150,000… until now.

In the past week, the app has topped the US App Store charts, pushing its usership up to 3 million in just a week (a percentage increase of 1900%!) I know what you’re thinking: we’ve seen many “Insta-alternatives” come and go, yet the sheer numbers of the Instagram-diaspora signing up to Vero merit giving this new challenger a closer look!

Why has it grown so quickly?

Inevitably, as a direct competitor of Instagram the sudden explosion in growth for Vero has come as a result of a direct move by the social media giant. In this case, the adoption of algorithms (to organize the order in which your posts appear and the audience who gets to see them) seems to be the catalyst. Though this may not seem like a big deal, professionals have rightly complained that it can have a real impact on how your work is exposed on the platform.

For example, the algorithm means that a new post will only appear on roughly 15% of your followers’ news feeds (calculated by who Instagram deems it is most relevant to). The flipside of this is that it also restricts your view to other artists work which can form a bit of a dead hand on your creative inspiration and ability to exercise your own judgments.

How is Vero different?

On the most part, Vero offers a very similar user experience to Instagram. You can upload your photos, apply various filters and follow influencers or friends. However, it does include some key differences that mark it out. For one (much to the relief of the disaffected Instagrammers) the platform is algorithm and ad free, meaning that your work isn’t being managed for you, nor is your data being mined to fuel the ads funding the platform.

Additionally, you can choose who sees your posts (options of entirely private, available to close friends, friends, acquaintances or followers), share your live location, and link to books, tv and music you have enjoyed – giving it an almost blog-like feel.

How could this benefit your visual art business?

Well, there are a few key points to note here:

  • No algorithms. The fact that the platform does not use algorithms means that (as mentioned above) you have complete control over your own content. Being able to post your images chronologically means that you manage your own portfolio of work AND ensure that your posts will be exposed to your whole following (not just the ones Instagram allows). Given that the platform has three million users and counting, this is not an insignificant feature!
  • Audience selection. By being able to select the audience for your posts (close friends, etc.) you can manage the exposure of your work personally, e.g you can have all your main clients as “close friends” to ensure they see the relevant work.
  • Posting links. Perhaps most crucial of all, this feature allows you to post links to “in-app purchases” where followers can buy your work directly – thereby giving a great sales opportunity on the platform (beware though as Vero will take a cut of those sales!)

In short, Vero is all about offering its users control over their work, at the same time that Instagram is tightening its grip on theirs.

Is it worth defecting?

Even if this app ends its days as nothing more than a short-lived “protest platform” for disgruntled Instagram users, it is important to note that it still has a usership of over three million people (2.85m of which are new and therefore active). This is not a figure to be sneered at.

Getting into the platform now –  at such a rapid point in it’s growth – could just give you the edge in the cut and thrust of artistic competition. As the app is currently free to download, there’s certainly no harm in testing it out and at the very least making Instagram think twice about how they treat their users.


Flora Dallas Flora Dallas is a content writer for Fat Lama the US and UK-wide peer-to-peer rental marketplace for camera and film gear. The platform provides a cheaper and more efficient solution than buying outright or hiring from rental shops. At the same time, it allows others to turn their underused possessions into capital assets. (We are helped by Tizzy the office dog!)



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  1. IMHO, if Vero is going to morph into a pay-to-play model, I don’t think it will be considered an authentic social media platform.

    • I’m not sure if that would be true, Leslie. Facebook and Instagram are increasingly pay-to-play, as they cut back previously free reach and constantly push advertising. These are businesses, after all. If they made nothing, how could they exist? If Vero charges an annual fee, at least they are up front about it. Slowly taking away the connections and exposure that users once had, as Facebook and Instagram are doing, isn’t sitting well with the public. I hear from artists all the time who are upset about this. And, current news articles indicate that Facebook is seeing an erosion of use. My suggestion to all artists on social media is to convert followers over to your own list, which is the best way to grow an audience that you can reach when you want to- see this recent article on that topic

      • Hi Carolyn, I’ve watched a lot of my fellow artists make the move to Vero for the reasons stated in this great post. I have a profile and plan to build a presence to keep my foot in the door there.
        Although, I have always been a big proponent of social, I know the importance of controlling and owning our own content via our blogs. I encourage my fellow artists not to keep all their eggs in the social media basket!

        • That’s so true, Lori. You are a social media leader, and it’s interesting to see you make the move. I wonder how the current Facebook problems might lead to an exodus.

  2. Very interesting. I hadn’t heard of this.

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