Ello wants Ad-Free Social Media
When a new social media site cometh, we joineth. (We’re certain that’s written in scripture somewhere right after "Tequila will kill you" and "Just wear a striped shirt.")
The latest site to catch the Internet’s eye is Ello. Yesterday, the site averaged about 31,000 requests for new accounts per hour. The only problem? Membership is nearly impossible to gain, despite the homepage’s easily accessible sign-up form requiring only an e-mail address.
Considering the high demand for a glimpse inside, it’s surprising that no one knows what Ello really is or how it will differ from other social media sites aside from its singular promise. Negating the advertising tools of other social media, their lofty manifesto explains, "Your social network is owned by advertisers. Every post you share, every friend you make and every link you follow is tracked, recorded and converted into data…We believe there is a better way." What sounds like an excerpt from a political rally is actually just Ello’s promise to make sure your browsing history remains just that–history. More importantly, those shoes from Net-a-Porter won’t pop up on your Ello sidebar after making the adult decision to not purchase them.
A majority of early users have tweeted with utter confusion about how Ello functions, while most share that the network is dead before it’s even lived. According to Wired, the site doesn’t "care about money," therefore its lifeline looks pretty short.
With very little to speculate on, the one flaw we see with the site is that its creators are faceless. The promise of MySpace was held in the friendly glance of Tom peering over his own shoulder in what looked like a Hanes tagless T-shirt (just a hunch), and that Mark Zuckerberg was a kid in a dorm just like you. We understand a bit of mystery to gain intrigue, but we wouldn’t mind a few smiling faces on Ello’s minimalist homepage, either.