Chiara Talia

Is VERO the new Instagram for Wildlife Photographers?

In the last few weeks, I have seen more and more wildlife photographers I follow sharing on their Instagram stories they started a new account on VERO. So I decided to have a look and try to understand what was going on. Is really everyone in our field abandoning Instagram for VERO?

VERO markets itself as a social network free from advertisements, data mining and algorithms. The app has been around since 2015 but, during the past few years, it failed reaching popularity.

Why this sudden surge in popularity?

Many people are in huge disagreement with Instagram latest changes and updates. You might be familiar with the online petition “Make Instagram Instagram again”. About one year ago, Adam Mosseri (head of Instagram) announced that Instagram was no longer a ‘’square photo-sharing app’’ – and he used a Video for that of course. Since then, the general discontent has been growing day after day. In the past year, we have seen the steady rise of Reels (currently the only video format available on Instagram) and a shift in the presence of ‘Recommended’ and ‘Sponsored’ content on the Feed. For clarification, sponsored content is the type of content you get to see because the account that posted it paid for it. On the other hand, recommendations are based on the algorithm: using our data, the algorithm tries to predict the content we could like and be interested in. This is a way Instagram to help accounts to be discovered by new people. Another recurring critical point is the drop in reach (the number of followers who actually end up seeing the content) – which has been steadily declining (with people consuming more and more Video content instead of Photos). Many wildlife photographers (as other visual artists making more static work) felt let down by Instagram. And here’s where VERO came in. So is it VERO better from a photography perspective? Let’s find out.

What’s VERO and my first thoughts:

VERO is a social media platform with a subscription-based model, without ads. As it is also free of algorithm, the posts are shared in reverse chronological order on the feed. VERO resembles Instagram in its earlier days in terms of functionality – and it doesn’t look like the creators have made a huge effort to differentiate between the two. After trying it out for a while, here’s my evaluation (based on the current app version):



NEUTRAL points:


Is VERO perfect? Of course not. Will it replace Instagram in the short term? I am sceptical about it. For a new social network to succeed, it has to be a perfect mix of familiar and new. I am not sure being almost exactly as an old version of another app would work. Should you join VERO right now? Not absolutely necessary, but keep an eye on it.

The search for a new, better social media platform for photographers is still ongoing!

In the meantime you can follow me on Instagram and on VERO.

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