The Ello Manifesto tells us this:
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. Advertisers buy your data so they can show you more ads. You are the product that’s bought and sold.
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.
We believe a social network can be a tool for empowerment. Not a tool to deceive, coerce and manipulate — but a place to connect, create and celebrate life.
You are not a product.
So, in case you haven’t heard by now there is a brand new social media site called Ello that while not really competing with Facebook and Twitter but rather providing an alternative to people that don’t want to be treated like a product. Not competing YET!
It’s being reported that Ello is getting 10’s of thousands of new users signing up every hour and although the site is bare bones right now, some additional very handy features are in the works. We’ve been there for 4 days now we think it shows a lot of promise. It has a long ways to go to replace Facebook but with the ability to post large images and without the 140 character maximum it stands to be a major competitor with Twitter much quicker. It feels like a mixture of Tumblr and Twitter…it’s hard to define why a site that looks so simple and basic has such an appeal. One thing that is clear, the timing for this little social media site could not have been better. Facebook created quite an uproar with the recent decision to start doing away with stage names, (although they rescinded for now) especially in the LGBT community and someone suggested Ello at just the right time. And the founders are taking full advantage of that shot in the arm and are scrambling to keep up with the insane growth the site is experiencing.
NWMS: Facebook’s decision to lower organic reach to microscopic levels hurt a lot of people, including many causes and many bands that had spent years and in some cases a lot of money building a following.
Ello: Ello is a simple, beautiful, and ad-free social network where people can be who they want to be and connect with people they want to connect with. We don’t really see ourselves competing with Facebook at all — we see Facebook is an advertising platform, not a social network. We thought Ello was going to be popular, but how popular it’s become has surprised us. I think people are ready for a new kind of social network, untarnished by advertising, and that’s simple and easy to use. It’s pretty awesome, actually.
NWMS: Twitter is also discussing using an algorithm that will for all intents and purposes kill real time news. Can you assure new Ello users that you won’t do these things to them? Will Ello always deliver content in real time?
Ello: You betcha!
NWMS: Facebook has never been transparent with how they operate, whereas Ello seems very forthcoming with information. Is this by design?
Ello: Absolutely. We love being transparent and protecting user privacy.
NWMS: Over the years Facebook has changed the way certain features of the site function, oftentimes with no warning, leaving users scrambling to re-learn how to use the site. Will Ello keep the users in the loop about possible changes to the site?
Ello: We’ll be continually rolling out new features and users will always be kept up to date on these.
NWMS: Are there currently any follow limits? Either for followers or following? (I understand if your answer needs to be a little vague)
Ello: Not right now.
NWMS: Will Ello be accommodating to the needs of musicians/bands/artists?
Ello: Ello is currently set up so any person, business or musician can create a profile for themselves–once invited. We’re adding Soundcloud and other music support very soon.
NWMS: Can you expand a little bit on the other music support you speak of?
Ello: We’ll keep you updated as soon as we roll these out!