I had all but abandoned the major social media platforms from the start of the pandemic as I was sick and tired of reading so many fake news pieces, scams and the general rubbish that had been floating around the internet since it began. I was disillusioned with the whole thing – especially as I was a major proponent of social media platforms from the start.
I’d championed Facebook as a brilliant way of multi generational families, broken across the globe, to keep in touch (and if that was all it did, I’d still be on it). I adopted Twitter before the beginning of smart phones as it was a terrific way of generating micro blog posts that you could embed on your own website. That was a boon for my clients at the time; giving their webpages a lift in their Google search engine positioning. And then there’s Instagram! A platform for photographers! How amazing is that? Except… It started to hide your friends posts in favour of its sponsors. The commercialisation of all three was destroying the reason for using the platforms and getting visibility became down to the size of your wallet. And you could buy ‘followers’, likes and anything else that faked your metrics.
By the time Snapchat appeared, I’d already started to have doubts about social media’s direction and when I learned about TikTok, I deliberately ignored it.
I barely open the websites and I’ve dumped the smartphone social media apps. Occasionally, I reinstall them if I have a client that still values their accounts. In Facebook, I dump images onto the client’s own page rather that mine. I post on insta when the client wants a few pictures during an event. Then I shut it down again. Sure, my business pages are still there but really there’s nothing new on them. They’re zombie pages.
So; it’s with trepidation that I created a new account on another social media platform that I found recently (although it’s been around for at least a year) called Vero. Its ‘made’ for visual artists so there is a strong emphasis on photography and videography. You can post other media there with links to Apple Music and (I believe) Spotify. The promise is a timeline without it burying your material under sponsored posts, suggestions of big brands to follow, or inane posts boosted by wannabe celebrities. I’m hopeful but also aware that ‘bait and switch’ is common practice in the social media market, so let’s populate it was some nice personal shots of mine and see how it goes. There are already many talented photographers on Vero, so I’m enjoying viewing a range of images and techniques – its a great source of inspiration. It’s community seems friendly too with lots of group hashtags so finding new areas and connections becomes a joyful experience of discovery.
So; here’s a look at my Vero feed, which updates as I post new material. If you start seeing adverts in it or ‘sponsored posts’ then I’ll be leaving this platform behind too.