VSCO Thrives Amidst Market Challenges With Innovative Strategies

Mark Jillstring
Innovative Strategies

CEO of VSCO, Eric Wittman, recently shed light on how the photo-sharing app has evolved to navigate challenging market conditions while maintaining profitability. Central to VSCO’s strategy is innovation, keeping up with user trends and broadening revenue streams beyond the traditional subscription model.

Success has not come without difficulties but leveraging data mining and focusing on creating an engaging user experience have been key. VSCO rose to prominence during the 2019 ‘VSCO girls’ internet trend and has since become a popular tool amongst social media influencers and everyday users for editing and sharing photos.

In a move to stay relevant and competitive, VSCO has shifted its focus to providing a supportive platform for photographers and content creators. This transformation includes work to create a secure, collaborative environment for users to establish their artistic identities. VSCO’s intent is to position itself as a go-to resource for creatives to tell their visual narratives.

The company introduced new features such as ‘Spaces’, private galleries, and direct messaging to strengthen its community ties. VSCO has operated a freemium business model since 2017. Basic services are free, but premium services require a $30 to $60 annual subscription fee.

Despite a 47% and 36% decline in downloads in 2022 and 2023 respectively, VSCO has remained profitable, largely driven by revenue from paid subscriptions. Wittman confirmed a steady global user base of 200 million, demonstrating the company’s resilience and popularity despite market challenges.

VSCO raised $50million in its last venture capital round in 2015, culminating in total funding of $90million. The company has managed to maintain financial stability, adhering to generally accepted accounting principles and avoiding layoffs, contributing to its success in an uncertain industry.

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Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, Innovator. Mark pursued his education degree in Computer Science. During his time at university, he became fascinated with the intersection of technology and social impact, setting the stage for his future endeavors.