Say Ello to a new social network
The invite-only service claims to be an antidote to Facebook and Twitter. But is it too good to be true?
Do you need another social network in your life? If you’re growing increasingly uneasy about how much data Mark Zuckerburg and his Facebook bros hold about your life (and what they’re doing with it), you may well be in the market for a new way to communicate with your friends.
Enter Ello, an invite-only social network that seeks to address the issues that have turned many people off Facebook and Twitter.
There are no ads, the company behind it say that your data won’t be flogged to the highest bidder, and users don’t have to disclose their real names.
There’s also a manifesto with much talk about “beauty, simplicity and transparency”.
These may be niche concerns for many, but there’s enough in that niche to get Ello on to the pitch.
Of course, all the talk about not taking ads or selling data is fine at the start. But with Ello experiencing 31,000 expressions of interest an hour last month when the site’s profile spiked (it’s claiming 50,000 sign-ups a day), there’s going to come a time when cash will be required to keep the machines on.
Ello received venture capital funding of $435,000 before the site was launched last March, but it remains to be seen if more investors will come onboard to keep the site ad-free.
However, these venture capitalists will require returns on their investment, and it will be interesting to see how its founder, bike shop owner Paul Budnitz, and his team will manage to square that circle.
If ads do begin to appear on the network, will the early adopters bolt for the hills?
For now though – as with Facebook when it started out – it’s about simply getting inside the exclusive club.
Ell of a time Ad-less and data tight