Vero, a photo-sharing app that launched in 2015, is the latest app to profit from ongoing frustration with Instagram’s unloved algorithm.

A week ago, the app was ranked so low it did not even appear in the App Store’s trendy 1,500 apps; today it is the most popular app in the entire App Store. It’s gotten so popular that the app’s servers have been full, with many users unable to post or even register for an account.

The app’s pacing to add more than 500,000 users in twenty four hours, and that is simply on iOS in the U.S., according to information from sensor Tower, a company that specializes in app analytics.

What is Vero?

Launched in 2015, Vero bills itself as an ad-free “social network that lets you be yourself.” The app is that the brainchild of billionaire businessperson Ayman Hariri, son of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Hariri, who has a net value of $1.33 billion, according to Forbes, told CNBC he started the app because he was annoyed with the privacy policies of ad-based social networks.

In practice, though, it’s extremely almost like Instagram, with a few important differences. though most users seem to be posting photos, the app also lets you share text and URLs, as well as recommendations for books, TV shows, and movies.

Why everyone on Instagram is talking about Vero

Perhaps the app’s biggest differentiator from current social networks is that it types posts in reverse-chronological feed, not algorithmically. you’ll also browse posts from your connections by sort or browse popular hashtags.

It also distinguishes connections supported their relationship to you. you’ll designate people as close friends, friends, acquaintances, or followers and opt to share posts specifically with these groups.

Vero also emphasizes its privacy polices. It says it only collects a minimal amount of information about its users, like their names, email addresses and phone numbers, however does not provide information to advertisers or different third parties.

So how does it create money?

The short answer is that it does not — at least, not yet. because there are no ads on the platform, Vero says it will eventually consider user subscriptions for the bulk of its revenue.

The company hasn’t begun to implement subscriptions however — it says it’s permanently “waiving” the fee for its 1st million users — however that users will eventually be needed to pay “a little annual fee.” (CNBC reported the fee are “a few dollars a year.”)

Vero also takes a cut from products different companies sell within the app.

Why now?

Vero first launched in the App Store in 2015, where it initially got little attention. In Dec 2015, it briefly reached No. forty five in the App Store’s social networking category, according to information from App Annie. It dropped off the charts entirely soon after (the App Store only ranks the highest 1,500 apps in any category).

That modified in the last few days, though. Late last week, the app suddenly shot up the rankings, moving from No. 566 to No. 1 in a matter of 4 days, according to information from App Annie. it’ll soon go from around 600,000 lifetime downloads in the App Store and Google Play, to over 500,000 in a day, according to forecasts from sensor Tower.

And while it isn’t clear what has prompted Vero’s sudden surge, it seems to be at least partly due to frustration’s with Instagram’s algorithm, which has been bubbling up for months.

Instagrammers have been upset over the app’s algorithm since it unrolled last year. But, unlike different changes, which people have gotten used to over time, frustration appears to have only intensified over time.

Now, Instagram users are promoting their Vero accounts to followers. There are presently over 500,000 Instagram posts tagged as #Vero, the majority of which are users posting screenshots of their profiles and asking followers sign up them on the app.

Whether the app’s popularity can last is another matter. different social apps, like Ello and Peach and Sarahah, have been able to briefly capitalize on web virality, however ultimately lacked the staying power to become viable alternatives to Facebook and Instagram.


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