For the past few weeks we have been hearing about Ello.
Yes, we have spell checked this blog before we hit publish, do not adjust your sets… It’s not a typo.
For those of you who haven’t heard of it, Ello appears to be the up and coming social media platform for those in the know. Sort of like the bouncing baby brother of Facebook. However what makes this platform special is that it is completely ad free… and always will be.
Now, we have heard this before. After all, most social media platforms were ad free to begin with. However, Ello just made a very interesting move. By registering itself as a Public Benefit Corporation, the site is legally bound to stay ad free. This also goes for any company who may purchase Ello in the future.
Just recently the founder of Ello, Paul Budnitz, promised that any information it gathers on you will only be used for the purposes of the advancement of the platform, and not to sell on to the advertising suit who can jump the highest, as is the norm with other social media channels.
It also claims that you can opt out of this process, meaning that no data will be collected from you. Ello describes itself as “a simple, beautiful, and ad-free social network…”
Why don’t we have a look at some of the facts you should know before you ask for an invite:
- Starting as a private platform, the site was made public on August 7th 2014 with a campfire sized 90 invite-only users.
- Just two months later in October, the site claimed roughly 1 MILLION users and on the plus side of 100,000 user requests per day!
- As we said before, this site is invite only (so be prepared to wait). The only way around this wait is if you know someone who uses it already. Now, with a mind boggling population of several billion folk on the planet right now, chances are you don’t know anyone on it yet, but feel free to interrogate your friends if you are desperate for an invite.
- This site does not sell ads. Nor do they sell any data about you to any third parties. After a slightly long winded spiel about other social networks and their back alley advertising deals, Ello states that it is a Public Benefit Corporation. Fear not… we googled what that means for you. Link for enlightenment is HERE, but long story short, it is claiming to be for the benefit of us, not any advertisers.
- So, how is this going to make money? Well they are going to try to sell you some inhouse add ons. Similar to the mobile gaming industry where the game itself is free but you can pay a fee for extra features. Also the near $6m it has just secured from venture capitalists should keep them going for a bit. Not massive compared with Facebook standards, but let’s not sniff at a few million quid!
The site has a feature list set out. Bear in mind this is still in Beta. Here’s a short sample:
- NSFW settings (ALWAYS helpful! Believe us…)
- Simple commenting
- @mention pre-population on user profiles
- Drag users between Friends & Noise (we believe Noise is a feature which means that if you friend someone and they ramble on a bit (but you don’t feel ready to make the commitment of unfriending them) you can stick them in a ‘Noise’ box.
- Emoji integration (a must have…)
So from the facts we have so far, is Ello a worthy avenue to pursue? We’re not so sure. Only time will tell but we’re actually looking forward to seeing how this one pans out.