One word: Ello.
:The topic currently on social media enthusiasts minds’. Is this going to be the new Facebook? It could be.
Ello is a new social media site that is ad-free and does not sell users’ data to third parties like Facebook does. As of now, the site is invite-only and users must request an invite first. If you go to the website home page, it just tells you about the site and their manifesto. What is interesting is that you can click a button to either agree or disagree with their terms and if you disagree with their mission statement, they redirect you to Facebook’s privacy page (ello.co).
Where did this new social media platform come from?
Technically the site had been around for about a year, but only had about 100 friend users. It went semi-public on August 7, 2014 in which it was invite only, and now it is adding 50,000 new people an hour.
Ello looks like a very basic Facebook and apparently you cannot “like” posts and to even find the button to post is very difficult (Strachan 2014).
Ello does still collect some data like the basic anonymous data, but made IP addresses anonymous, making even Google very difficult to even track a user. Ello collects data such as language, location, referring web site, and time spent visiting their site. They also provide an opt out feature so users do not even have to share anonymous information. One can do this by going to the Ello settings page and turning Google Analytics off or by having Do Not Track (DNT) in the browser, wit h the exception of Chrome web browser, Android smartphones, or used services like Google search or YouTube because data might be sent back to Google that Ello does not know about (ello.co).
If the site is ad free, how do they make money? They say the company is planning to offer special features that a user can pay a small amount of money in order to use the feature on their profile (DeMurs 2014).
Ello creators claim they are not trying to replace Facebook because Facebook is seen as an advertising platform, whereas Ello is seen as a social network. Critics do not think that Ello will replace other social network sites, but think it will be an addition (Falls 2014).
People are unhappy with Facebook because their new real name rule has outed users of the LGBTQ community (Vaughn-Nichols 2014) and Facebook users being forced to use the Facebook messenger app has questioned security since people were concerned with the camera going off while using it or not using the app and telephone numbers being displayed. There was also the question of the app being packed with spyware (Depra 2014).
In my opinion, I do not know how Ello is going to survive off of just special features and no advertising because how many people are actually going to want to pay for these features when they could just use another social media platform? The only people that would be real Ello users are those that are super concerned with privacy issues and data sharing among third parties. However, most social media users are not even that aware of this issue because many do not even read the terms and conditions, and Facebook and these other sites are already so established and popular among how many users they have, so I do not see the sites disappearing. I think that Ello has such high hopes, but I think that they need to work out some kinks and make the website more visually appealing and easier to use first. I know that Facebook replaced Myspace and I think it was hard for people to believe that would happen when Myspace was popular, so I guess anything can happen with Ello, but then again, Myspace and Facebook both made revenue from advertising and third parties, so Ello may not follow in the same way. I guess we need to see what happens as it comes out of beta. I may request an invite, just to see what the social media site is all about, but I am not sure if I will be using it or if I would use it instead of Facebook or in addition to. I know I will not be deactivating my Facebook account any time soon.
1. Will you try Ello? Why or why not?
2. Do you think Ello will be used in addition to Facebook or will people switch over to Ello because of the lack in use of advertising?
3. How else could Ello make enough money to maintain the website as a competitor of Facebook and other equivalent platforms?
4. Do you care so much about privacy that you would stop using Facebook and switch to Ello?
DeMers, Jayson. “Ello: What Is It And Why Does Everyone Want An Invite?”Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 3 Oct. 2014. Web. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2014/10/03/ello-what-is-it-and-why-does-everyone-want-an-invite/>.
Depra, Dianne. “Report Claims Facebook Messenger App Packed with Spyware.” Tech Times RSS. N.p., 21 Sept. 2014. Web. <http://www.techtimes.com/articles/15981/20140921/report-claims-facebook-messenger-app-packed-with-spyware.htm>.
“Ello Is Coming.” Ello. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Oct. 2014. <https://ello.co/beta-public-profiles>.
Falls, Jason. “The Hard Truths About the Fast Rise of Ello.” Entrepreneur. N.p., 1 Oct. 2014. Web. <http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/237972>.
Strachan, Maxwell. “What Is This ‘Ello’ Everyone’s Posting About On Facebook?” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 01 Oct. 2014. Web. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/01/ello-facebook_n_5914762.html>.why-does-everyone-want-an-invite/>.
Vaughn-Nichols, Steven J. “Ello: Be Ready to Say Goodbye.” ZDNet. N.p., 3 Oct. 2014. Web. <http://www.zdnet.com/ello-be-ready-to-say-goodbye-7000034333/>.