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#Vero - A #SocialNetwork That's Realistic About #Friendship

techcrunch.com

How many Facebook friends do you have? What percentage of those would you count as real, genuine friends? Unless you're some kind of boundless social butterfly who can be in dozens of places at once and remember more birthdays than Akira Haraguchi remembers digits in pi (look it up), the number is probably pretty low. I have 532 Facebook friends and any lengthy amount of time is a sharp reminder that I have virtually zero interest in any of their lives. I would imagine they care just as little about me.

It doesn't bother me that people I barely know can see images of me from nights out, holidays and music festivals but it's easy to understand why others might be a bit more ambivalent about it. Facebook doesn't make it particularly easy to tailor your privacy settings so that certain people can't see your updates, so typically any content you share has to be universally agreeable.

A new app, Vero, offers an interesting alternative to all that. Using a simple, easy-to-understand interface, it allows you to decide exactly who you're sharing content with, choosing between acquaintances, friends, close friends and private, so it moves in an inward circle. It's easy to understand and shows you exactly how many people you have in each group, enabling you to move people between them as you please. As well as that you can also message people directly and all the other standard features of the average social media platform.

It boast some other unique features, like 'collections', which allows you to group together all your favourite content (music, videos, etc) and share them around, starting discussion threads about them as you do so. It's all geared towards encouraging an approach to social networking that keeps relationships in mind, rather than building up an audience. The notion that social media was initially about connectivity between friends seems to have faded back, somewhat.

Vero is primarily a mobile app, and the service is free for the time being but a paid subscription figure is being worked out. This might well kill the whole thing dead in the water, since I can't imagine people will be willing to pay a fee for a slightly more streamlined, interpersonal social service. Funding something like this without ad revenue is always difficult but subscription-based social media platforms rarely fare particularly well. They may yet decide to do away with the price tag, but whatever ends up happening, it's a good example of the kind of work Facebook and others should be doing to make social media a bit more social again.


Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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#Vero - A #SocialNetwork That's Realistic About #Friendship Reviewed by Callum Davies on Saturday, August 01, 2015 Rating: 5

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