Ello is a simple, beautiful, and ad-free social network created by a small group of artists and designers.
here is the link: https://ello.co
======== Ello vs. Facebook=========originally built Ello as a private social network. Over time, so many people wanted to join Ello that we built a public version of Ello for everyone to use.
The eight-week-old social network Ello has a manifesto: no ads, no data-mining, no algorithms that make decisions about what you should see, no turning users into products. If you hit the “I agree” button after the manifesto, the site puts you on the waiting list for an invitation. If you click “disagree,” it sends you to Facebook’s privacy page.
The site’s creator, Paul Budnitz, initially comes across as the male version of the ‘Manic Pixie Dream Girl.’ “I create beautiful things that change the world,” he says in his Ello profile. He lives in Burlington, Vermont selling the “most beautiful city bicycles in the world.” He founded Kidrobot, which makes designer toys such as a silver Homer Simpson buddha statue. According to his personal biography, he writes books, makes films, and collects “cultural wearable artifacts,” such as a classic pair of Air Jordans that he sold for $16,000. His eyes shoot lasers.
"We see Facebook as an advertising platform not a social network,” says Ello creator Paul Budnitz.
“We see Facebook as an advertising platform not a social network,” says Ello creator Paul Budnitz.
Right now, those lasers are aimed at Facebook. “We see Facebook as an advertising platform not a social network,” says Budnitz. “Users are products at Facebook. They want to know as much as possible to advertise to you.”
Ello has garnered a huge amount of media attention and a desperate stampede to get on the site thanks to a huge misstep by Facebook: last month, it booted drag performers such as Sister Roma and Lil Hot Mess off the site for not using their real names. Budnitz says the booted performers’ protest triggered a flood of requests to Ello last week from the LGBTQ community who wanted to know if they could use whatever names they wanted. “On Sunday or Monday, we got 50 emails over several hours, and we were looking at sign-ups and they were going up and up and up.”
Budnitz said they started getting 4,000 interested new users per hour. It’s snowballed from there. Budnitz won’t release user numbers, “because I don’t want to play that game,” but has been telling people Ello is now getting “50,000 sign-ups per hour.” But that’s a bit hyped; when I asked him if that meant 50,000 new users per hour, he says the number is actually a combination of people creating new accounts, sending out invites and requesting invitations. At this point, Ello is basically only honoring invitations from existing users to control its growth and “not melt our servers.” If nothing else, it’s a great way to make Ello the hot club with a red velvet rope and a long line out front. I suspect there are more people talking about Ello right now than actually using it.
Facebook realized the mistake it made, leading Chief Product Officer Chris Cox to apologize Wednesday. “The spirit of our policy is that everyone on Facebook uses the authentic name they use in real life,” explained Cox, saying that Facebook now realized that for the hundreds of users who got booted, the names they were using weren’t their legal names but were their “authentic” ones. So drag queens are back on Facebook, but Budnitz hopes that his site will continue to serve a need.
“It is beautiful and uncluttered,” he says. “Everything is in chronological order. People will only see what they want to see.”
Budnitz initially launched Ello in the summer of 2013 as a private social network for 90 friends because he was sick of existing social networks. “Facebook thinks I’m a middle-aged women of color, based on the ads I was seeing for high heels, stockings and African-American women magazines,” he says. “I wanted something simple and beautiful.”
He says other friends started clamoring to join, so he took the site down, got $435,000 in venture funding, and then relaunched an invitation-only site on August 7. “We thought we’d be where we are in 6 months and it happened in 6 days,” he says. As for the making-money part, Budnitz plans to charge users for features. For example, recent users have been clamoring for the ability to maintain multiple profiles with one log-in. “We’ll introduce that and then charge $1 or $2 for it to those power users who want it.”
Budnitz sees the site as a true beta one, a work in progress. Early users complained that they couldn’t block other users. This week the site will introduce block and mute features, he says. “We’re testing them now.”
The site has a feature list that explains what’s been added and what’s coming. Hilariously, I can’t link to it because some enterprising user stole its url by establishing a profile named “Feature List.” The site definitely has some bugs, and I wouldn’t be surprised if “Ello Just Got Hacked” appears in the headlines in the near future.