Is Vero the next Instagram for artists who don’t want to make Reels?

Launched in 2015, Vero is a social media platform built on a subscription-based model, to remain free of ads. It’s also free of algorithms; posts appear in reverse chronological order on your feed rather than via suggested content. One creative who has tipped Vero as the next platform for artists is photographer Anthony Prothero. “Vero feels like a good choice because of its algorithm, advertising and data mining-free approach,” the creative tells us. “Aesthetically it feels a calmer, less competitive space to exhibit still works away from the moving image space. It looks great too!”
Artist and designer Lou Taylor also set up a Vero account, although the creative reports: “All I could see on there were artists frustrated with Instagram rather than potential clients/customers/galleries, etc.” This is an issue inherent with hunting for any new social media option – the platform needs to gain traction fast to offer significant networking potential. Currently, Vero’s total user number pales in comparison to Instagram’s, so Lou is not “sure how useful it is currently for potential sales etc, which is an important part of why we’re on it”.
During Instagram’s updates in June, many artists expressed their frustrations at a drop in engagement – one artist, Jim Stoten, even posted a series of Reels of himself “doing nothing” to show his dissatisfaction with the prioritisation of video content. In an attempt to find a viable solution, or simply another way to protest against the changes, many artists reported moving to Vero.
From an online petition to Kylie Jenner’s own Instagram story, the tail end of June 2022 was filled with one online rallying cry: “Make Instagram Instagram again.” You’re probably already familiar with the story. The protest was short-lived; Instagram quickly announced it would be rolling back the changes it had made to the site – most of which revolved around prioritising video content through Reel recommendations and a full-screen feed.
While the updates have ceased for now, this is not an event in a vacuum. Alongside this slow and steady shift towards video content, there has been a 44 per cent decrease in engagement for in-feed posts on Instagram since 2019, according to social media scheduler Later. As a result, visual artists who make static work have been questioning how they will share their pieces with audiences going forward. And that’s where Vero came in.

Posted by Contributor