Unless you've been living under a rock, you probably already know that the VERO app has been getting some major attention over the past 48 hours. At first glance, it has a beautiful user interface that will definitely garner attention, however the app is plagued by issue after issue. The big question is, is it worthwhile to stick it out and be an early adopter who has their church or brand on the app as soon as possible or wait until the kinks are worked out and sit back and wait?
First off, it's important to note that this isn't a final judgement call on the VERO app. It will take weeks or even months for the developers to work out major kinks as quickly as they are able to, but the question we're investigating today is: is this app going to be worthwhile for my church? From what we can see today, the initial answer is a big, old "no".
When these new platforms launch, there tends to be a lot of hype that develops over a short period of time. In this particular case, VERO has actually been around for quite some time, but no one knew about it. Why the big deal now? Recently the developers have been able to secure some celebrity endorsements and big press that caused many to talk about the new app over Facebook. We all know that one of the best ways to spread your branding is through "Social-Media-Word-Of-Mouth" so as discussion has been brewing, more and more are downloading the app and setting up simple accounts to try it out for themselves. People often rush to these new platforms hoping to be able to say they were one of the first followers and gain some sort advantage by achieving a maximum amount of followers. After all, what is one of the first things you do when you create a new social media account? Search for people or groups to follow. While there is an advantage to being "first" to a platform does it really matter in the church context? Not as much. My personal belief is that the goal of the church media team is not be front of line racing for attention and numbers but rather successfully communicating the message of the Gospel in an inviting, open way. So if you're feeling that crunch to be involved or suffering from a case of FOMO (fear of missing out), relax, breathe easy and know that you're not going to fall behind, if you choose to wait to see how this trendy app takes off.
So here is the quick take review;
UI (User Interface, Design): 9/10
The app looks beautiful. They have clearly gone with an edgier and bolder look that sets it apart from its obvious major competitor Instagram. The dark theme looks really nice when you are trying to make pictures ‘pop’ in contrast, that is why the "collections" page stands out so well.
The Wonder Woman poster looks great on the feed as it has such nice colour and bright contrast on the app. The user icons at the top of the page are nicely laid out and easy to understand from the get-go, making navigation to the necessary pages simple and quick.
The biggest mistake a company can make is to build hype and not be able to manage the attention when they get it. VERO has had time to prepare its capacity for user growth but clearly they were not ready for what has happened over the past 48 hours. There have been many reports of people not being able to create accounts, the app crashing or just plainly taking an eternity to load. Okay so maybe not an "eternity", but when a new user tries out an app for the first time, 30-seconds of loading kills the mood and excitement pretty quickly. This certainly doesn't help their case of being new and more improved.
Our initial sign up went well. We were able to create an account pretty quickly and find a few other accounts we knew using the app. We managed to load up a video from a VMC user who created an intro video using VMC and Stokhub stock video. However, from that point on we haven’t been able to do anything. We have had trouble adding or finding people, mostly because of long load times then a ‘server timeout’ message. We also haven’t been able to load anything new to the feed in quite some time. We have tried uploading videos and images with no success, we optimized our pictures to the size of 300kb to see if that solved the upload issue with no luck. We believe that their issue lies in their servers are being overloaded with attention to the point that the whole system is failing under the weight of traffic. It's a good problem to have if you're an app developer, but can quickly turn into a real big problem if you can't solve it quick enough. We all know that the online world isn't a very patient world.
VERO is an app with plenty of potential to rival Instagram but they are not quite ready for your attention yet. Let's give them a couple weeks and see if the issues have been resolved by then. Hopefully there is still enough users wanting to use the platform by the time the issues are resolved, then consider revisiting the idea of signing your church up to get in on the hype of the newest app.
For now the App gets a score of 4/10 as usability is more important than design, doesn't matter how great it looks if the app doesn't work no one is going to use it.