Is Vero a challenge to Facebook?

I saw someone dismissing the possibility of verso taking Facebook on. They pointed out the failure of

  • app.net
  • Ello
  • peach
  • and mastodon

While there’s validity in pointing out these failures. It’s not the full story. In fact there are three other networks that would be better to discuss.

  • WhatsApp
  • instagram
  • snapchat

Two of which Facebook bought to avoid being surpassed by (and instagram looks like the best deal they did) and one, snapchat, they have tried to kill by adding its core features to other apps. It’s important to note the difference between the apps mentioned first and these examples. Clearly Facebook precieved these apps to be a potential threat, where they didn’t view the others as threats.

The common thread with most of these services is that they rise when Facebook is facing difficulties. These have been privacy issues (ello) and dramatic changes in design (I.e. the newsfeed). These alternatives offer more privacy and a more familiar look. But verso isn’t in that same category, it actually fits the type of situation of instagram and snap. That is a mobile first app with some unique touches and interactions. This is where Facebook has always been worse and instagram is currently facing criticism for its changes to a curated newsfeed not in chronological order and full of ads. Verso offers an alternative to that.

Now this doesn’t mean Facebook is done and so far Facebook has done a good job at reacting to challenges, but if they try and replicate the snapchat reaction, they could confuse their interface more which is part of there current issues that have helped this challenger rise.

So I don’t think verso should be instantly dismissed or instantly thought of as a success. It will be interesting to watch.

Chris J Wilson @ChrisJWilson
Micro.blog