Ello? Could this be it? The one we’ve all been waiting for, the one to challenge Facebook?
Not that we have anything against Facebook particularly, in fact we happen to think it's rather fabulous (and our own Startacus Facebook page is used often) but it is a truth, widely acknowledged, that a business with near complete domination of a marketplace leads to stagnation and lack of innovation. We’re just rather excited to see a newcomer inject a spot of energy back into the social media world.
‘Ello, what’s all this then?
‘Ello’ is a new social networking platform with an anti-advertising/data-mining manifesto and a pro-transparency ethos. With its particular set of core values and functionality, the platform has (intentionally or otherwise) positioned itself as a direct alternative to global superpower Facebook.
It’s been quite sometime since there has been so much ‘hype’ about a new social network, so in acknowledgement of the event, we’ve put together a little list of ten interesting things you might like to know about Ello.
It began life as a closed network only accessible to the small group of artists and creatives who designed and created it.
Once you have followed someone you can divide them into 2 categories a) ‘Friends’ for those people who are actually your friends and b) ‘Noise’ For those folks you are obliged to be friends with. The people you follow will never know what category you have put them into (phew)!
The user interface is very very minimalist, a complete contrast to the jam-packed appearance of Facebook.
Ello thinks that collecting and selling your personal data for profit is “creepy and unethical” so they don't do it.
There is absolutely no advertising whatsoever.
As of today (30 Sep 2014) Ello is receiving about 30,000 new signups every hour (as reported on the BBC).
The site is by invitation only at this stage so you have to express an interest and wait for an invite…We are waiting...
Ironically (or not) even in its infancy, the site is under constant bombardment by spammers and hackers.
Your request to join will only be granted if you already know someone who is on the network.
Such is the current demand for invitations that people are actually selling their invitations on Ebay for £500+.
It would be naive of us to suggest that Ello will prove to have any longevity, after all this business is notorious for its savage ability to obliterate newcomers. In fact some are already sounding the death knell of Ello due to its perceived lack of functionality, compared to what users have come to expect from other social networks.
But regardless of whether or not Ello succeeds in taking a substantial portion of the marketplace, a fresh face challenging an established giant is definitely worth watching, and an event that could spark a new uprising of innovative social media contenders.
Oh and now it’s time for a subtle plug of Startacus…
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Check out some of these other social media innovation posts: