Hello Ello – what’s all this then?
Ello is a fledgling social network that seems to be gaining significant traction where many others have failed.
Only about three months old, Ello is still in beta but this hasn’t deterred thousands of people to sign-up for accounts.
The developers say that Ello was originally devised “as a private social network”, and that “over time, so many people wanted to join Ello that [they] built a public version … for everyone to use.”
Ello says that it doesn’t sell ads; neither does it sell data about its users to third parties. You can read Ello’s “no ad” policy here. It’s a worthy policy and a thinly-veiled stab at Facebook which proactively and unashamedly markets your personal data to advertisers. (Recommended pages and sponsored posts in Facebook are displayed in your feed based on your age, location, gender, interests, people you follow, comments you like, posts your friends like and websites you visit.)
There’s no question that the internet is screaming out for an ethical, respectful, non-commercial social platform.
Designer & social entrepreneur Aral Balkan reported last week that the creators of Ello had taken $435,000 in seed funding from FreshTracks Capital, a Vermont-based venture capital firm. His concern is that the creators are funded by venture capital, which means your personal details have already been sold.
But this hasn’t stopped up to 27 thousand new users per hour opening accounts and adding friends to their stream.
Whether this is, or isn’t, the Next Big Thing remains to be seen. Maybe Ello will be a stepping-stone to something else? One thing is certain: Ello’s business model and its ability to offer a viable alternative to Zuckerberg’s ubiquitous Facebook has attracted a great deal of interest indeed.