WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Vero – True Social is a social media app in direct competition with Facebook and Instagram. Claiming to let you "behave online like you do offline," the app claims not to filter your posts the way Instagram and Facebook do and lets you designate levels of privacy to each post: close friends, friends, acquaintances, or public. Facebook allows a similar choice but this app features it. You can even have three different profile photos depending on friend level. The app contains built-in photo filters and collects your favorites in discrete categories such as photos, videos, books, and music. At present, the app is free to use and contains no in-app purchases, however since it contains no ads or sponsored content, its paid subscription model could kick in at any time.
IS IT ANY GOOD?
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This social sharing app claims to improve on the giants – and there are some upgrades – but there's potential for improvement. At the time of review, a surge in users has made Vero – True Social glitchy, so it will need to work out the technical issues to keep the users it has. The interface is easy on the eyes, and it automatically dates the things you've "liked" and sorts them into collections according to type. Best of all, it appears to give your followers the access you want rather than applying some incomprehensible filter to your posts like Facebook and Instagram do, and it's great not to wade through ads and sponsored content. Other than service issues, another downside right now to using Vero is having to request account deletion via email if you want out. Like other social media apps, teens can connect with people they don't know offline, and user-generated content often contains mature content. Also, despite its claims of giving users total control, it appears to be just as invasive (wanting users' phone numbers, contacts, and location) as any of its social media competitors. You might be alright with that as long as the app remains free; you could change your mind if/when the app reinstates its monthly subscription fees. Finally, at the time of review, there's controversy around the CEO and past business practices, though he denies wrongdoing.
RATING AND CONTENT
Recommended for ages 15 and older
Quality: 3 out of 5
Educational value: 0 out of 5
Ease of play: 3 out of 5
Violence: 0 out of 5
Sex: 0 out of 5
Language: 0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, and smoking: 0 out of 5
Consumerism: 2 out of 5 (Are products/advertisements embedded? Is the title part of a broader marketing initiative/empire? Is the intent to sell things to kids?)
Devices: iPhone, Android
Price: Free (free at time of review, but might begin charging)
Release date: February 13, 2018
Category: Social networking
Size: 109.60 MB
Publisher: Vero Labs, Inc.
Minimum software requirements: iOS 8.0 or later; Android 5.0 and up
Common Sense Media is an independent nonprofit organization offering unbiased ratings and trusted advice to help families make smart media and technology choices. Check out our ratings and recommendations at www.commonsense.org.