Ello is quickly becoming the hot new social network. The hook: it’s advertisement free. Says it’s founder, Paul Budnitz, “I think there is a misperception among some naive people that think this site will [eventually] sell data or advertising. It will never do that. There should be no doubt about that. The founders of Ello still control a vast amount of the company and we are committed to that vision.” Furthermore, as per Ello’s manifesto, data is not tracked, giving users an added level of comfort and privacy.
So, what is Ello? It can best be described by it’s stripped down, minimalist features. All text is black and white. It seems to be a combination of Facebook and Twitter – you can follow people and others can follow you. You can also make status updates, can mention people and view your news feed. You have two pictures – a profile pic and a background pic. There is none of the “noise” that Facebook has – no games or apps or anything like that – and, of course, no ads. There is no mobile app yet.
Is this the hot new thing? Yeah, sort of. Should elected officials or government offices be running for it? No. Not yet. Why? Well, it’s invite only. You can’t just sign up for Ello – you have to request an invite, and the network is still in beta. As such, it’s not a massively accessible social network. Given the obvious time and resource constraints on elected officials, you simply shouldn’t be wasting your effort on a social network with a limited audience.
And I want to emphasize yet, because you never know what social network is going to get huge next. Facebook, YouTube and Twitter all came out of nowhere, and remember, before Facebook, MySpace was KING. Pinterest, Flickr, Instagram and Vine were the next group, followed by messaging services like Snapchat, Kik and Whisper. Maybe ad-free networks are the next big thing. So, to that end, keep an eye on Ello. It does seem to have some mass media momentum, but only time will tell if it’s real or a flash in the pan.
I’m not on Ello yet but would like to be (just filled in my Request for an Invite) – is anyone out there on Ello? Any experiences you’d like to share? Please let us know in the comments!