Ello is a new social network, founded in March 2014 by a small group of artists and designers who are doing things differently! How? Well, they have created a completely ad-free social network. Having raised $5.5m from venture capitalists, Ello exploded in September this year.
Originally built as a private social network, interest in the site rocketed and there is now a public version that will be free (to an extent) for all.
Ello’s differentiation is a strong, repeated theme throughout the site, outlined in their manifesto for users which declares “you are not a product” and promises to protect users data and refuse advertising…ever!
When requesting an invitation to join, Ello presents their manifesto for you to either agree or disagree:
However, if you click agree, ironically, the site prompts you to share Ello on every available social media known to man.
5 key facts about Ello
How big is Ello?
Ello was made public on August 7th 2014 with 90 invite-only users, however just two months later, the site claimed roughly 1 million users and over 100,000 user requests per day.
When can I try it?
Ello have not expanded on when the site will be ready for all, the only way to get involved at the moment is if you know someone who already uses it, as the site is invite only.
But most social-media sites start out ad-free?
In order to assure us that Ello will always remain ad-free, they converted to a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC). This is a new kind of for-profit company in the USA that exists to produce a benefit for society as a whole – not just its investors.
So how will it stay free?
Ello state that it is free to use, however customers can choose to pay money to add features to their account. Telling customers that when they choose to pay they are supporting “Ello as an ad-free network and help us make it better and better”
Will it last?
Social media is a highly, highly saturated market and with countless newbies trying and failing in the past. This chart illustrates just how big an explosion the interest for ‘Ello in September was, however it has now taken a nose-dive… Could ‘Ello end up on the social media scrap heap like so many predecessors?