The creators of Vero are betting that there’s room for a new kind of social network — one that’s a bit more attuned to the nuances of real-world relationships.
Like other social media services, Vero allows users to share movies, music, photos and so on. Where it gets a little different is in the privacy around that sharing.
Instead of confronting users with overly complicated, difficult-to-understand controls, Vero users can share content with different groups — close friends, friends and acquaintances. They can also post content and keep it completely private.
“We wanted to make user privacy an easy thing to understand and not depend on adjusting 1,000 knobs,” said co-founder and CEO Ayman Hariri.
As he explained those settings, I flashed back to the first time I heard about Google+, where users were also asked to place their connections in different “circles” of friends, acquaintances, etc. (While Google+ may still have some partisans, the social network clearly hasn’t lived up to expectations, with Google starting to decouple it from the company’s other services.)
Hariri countered that Google Circles were simply too complicated. The potentially unlimited number of circles left users struggling to decide who goes in what group, then they had to struggle to remember those classifications when they were ready to share.