Ello! Ello! Ello! No, you’re not in the UK; you’re simply being overwhelmed by the buzz about the upcoming, new social network named Ello. Dubbed the “anti-Facebook”, Ello, still in the Beta stage, promises no advertisements and a laundry list of upcoming features including but not limited to: inappropriate content flagging, private accounts, smart phone apps and user blocking.
Ello is a private social network created just last year. It recently opened its digital doors to more members on an invitation-only basis.
The designer and founder of the site, Paul Budnitz, originally intended the website to be used by approximately 90 of his friends. Reportedly, so many other people wanted to join the network that Budnitz decided to open it to others.
Word on the web has it that Ello is presently receiving as many as 31,000 requests an hour from people who want to join. Some of the invitations are actually selling on eBay for as much as $500.
Critics question why anyone would pay for an “invite”. They also note that if the network is as popular as others claim why would one sell an invitation at any price?
“Seriously,” one anonymous commentator inquired: Can you say ‘MySpace’? $500? Wow. No girlfriend, huh? Is this stupidity or just an amateur publicity campaign?”
Fox 10 TV notes that Ello “is appealing to frustrated Facebook users.” The Ello Manifesto states: “We believe there is a better way. We believe in audacity. We believe in beauty, simplicity and transparency. We believe that the people who make things and the people who use them should be in partnership.”
They also state that unlike all the other social networks on the internet, their users are not required to share information. They emphasize that they do not sell user data to third parties and they do not require their users to provide them with their real names.
Currently a free service, company reps admit that sooner or later they will have to find a way to generate income. They are hoping however to avoid accepting advertising by offering premium features and services for a fee.
Ello! It’s The New Facebook?