Is VERO Dead?

Feb 09, 2024
VERO 2015 to 2024 R.I.P

Last week, for a bit of fun, I posted a Reel about the frustrations of being a photographer on Instagram. In response, several people commented that they wished more photographers were active on VERO.

I like the idea behind VERO very much and appreciate what they are trying to do. However, discovery has always been a problem making it hard to grow a following. As a result, I haven't posted on there for over a year.

I wanted to understand if other photographers have had similar experiences with VERO, so I posted a question on Threads. While discovery was a concern, others pointed out that engagement had dropped off considerably in the past 12 months.

To see if this was the case, I decided to run an experiment. For a week, I posted some of my favourite photos from the last year and measured the engagement. I was surprised by my findings. Engagement had fallen to less than 20% of the levels I had previously enjoyed!

While a drop in the number of active users on the platform is at least in part to blame, there is another lesson here. You simply can't disappear from a social media platform and expect things to be the same when you eventually re-engage.

Building a following on social media requires consistency. Buggering off for 12 months is not an effective strategy. Others have had more success.

"I have found the engagement and experience far better on VERO than Insta[gram]. Discovery is an issue but it gets better with time. Where my Insta[gram] feed is full of ads and photos from people I don’t know, my VERO feed is always on the mark. If you’re trying to build a social media following of potential clients, it’s not the place to be. If you’re looking to engage with a community of fellow photographers, I actually find it quite good." - Giles Thurston

With the Instagram algorithm continuing to strangle our reach, VERO remains a viable alternative provided you're prepared to put in the work.

Giles's approach is easy enough for anyone to reproduce: use hashtags to discover other photographers, then follow and engage with their content. This will be familiar to anyone who remembers the good old days of Instagram.

Also, this has the added advantage of exposing yourself to the work of others, which you can then use as inspiration. 

Sharing your work is a huge part of being a photographer and in the age of social media, that has never been easier. The problem is, we're lazy. We want to post our work and sit back while the likes and comments come flooding in. But unless your photos are exceptional, it doesn't work like that.

If you want to be part of a community, you have to put in just as much as you take out. That is how society works. And if you are going to invest your precious time in growing your reach, you would be wise to think twice before placing yourself at the mercy of an algorithm.

Is VERO dead? No. But it might be dying. And if we don't use it, we WILL lose it.