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Fear of Missing Out – The Photographer’s Dilemma

So who hasn’t heard of Vero yet? Anybody? If your introduction to this app was anything like mine then the first you’d have heard about it was a screenshot in someone’s Instagram story feed. Sound about right? Maybe you got the nod in a Facebook group you belong to, with someone posting along the lines of, “Trying this out, not sure if it’s any good, follow for follow.” Yep.

So, like most of us, I suspect, I installed Vero and signed up and had a look around. And you know what, it’s actually not too bad at all. I like the ethos behind it, I like the design, I like the tiered sharing function, I like the lack of advertising. The big question is – will it ever amount to anything? Do I need another social media platform in my life when I’m already struggling with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and all the others? If I ignore this platform will it go on to become the next Instagram and I’ll miss out?

Is your photographic style such that it will attract a wide following or will the people who succeed on Vero be the same attractive young ladies with bikinis and wide-brimmed hats who currently do so well on Insta?

Fear of missing out is what seems to be driving this app/network’s early burst of interest. So far I have seen nobody except a select few paid interests (GQ magazine etc) and thousands of photographers. In other words, at this stage, its value in terms of promoting photography is zero. Why? Because other photographers only want to promote their shots, not someone else’s. Unless and until the general public actually start adopting Vero, it’s a nice shiny new playground with no value at all. And who’s to say that photography will be the USP that drives Vero forward in the future? Maybe it’ll be video instead, or recipes, or maybe bands will start using it and it’ll be this generation’s MySpace. Who knows.

Like everyone else that relies on social media to promote their photography I’m just as guilty as the next person. If anything I feel that FOMO shudder more than many folks because I totally missed the Instagram boat. I installed that app early on its life, uploaded a few shots, wondered who in their right mind wanted to see horrible over-filtered postage-stamp sized photos, and deleted it. So don’t go seeking advice from me on the long term prospects of Vero.

Should we all expend our efforts on creating a working presence on Vero? Is it possible that the platform will produce the sort of break-out ‘stars’ that emerged on Instagram and who now get flown around the world by tourism organisations, hotel chains, airlines and fashion labels to promote their products and services? Is your photographic style such that it will attract a wide following or will the people who succeed on Vero be the same attractive young ladies with bikinis and wide-brimmed hats who currently do so well on Insta? Why is my crystal ball so foggy?

Let’s take a moment to consider some of the other services that looked like they’d be the next big thing. Phlow, anyone? Ello? EyeEm? I joined them all and stuck a couple of photos up there – more than a couple in the case of EyeEm, but they serve no purpose for me and I let them all slide. Since I haven’t heard much about any of them since then, I suspect most of us did the same.

As we’re all feeling our way with Vero, it’s interesting to watch it evolve. I’ve been keeping an eye on the trending hashtags on the service (when it’s online!) to get some impression of where it might headed and, actually, film seems to be figuring more than photo – oh and cosplay. What I’m not seeing are the crossover hashtags that meant that services like Instagram or Pinterest took off – and I’m pretty sure they’re crucial to this platform’s survival. In the mean time I’ll keep posting my photos and videos, because, you know, I wouldn’t want to miss out.

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