What is the Ello social network?
There has been much hype about the Ello social network following the Facebook “real name” debacle. Recently, Zuckerberg’s company announced that it might delete certain accounts if said accounts don’t feature the legitimate name of the owner. This has prompted panic throughout social media and many users started talking about Ello, a virtually unknown social network that you can sign-up for only by invite. This might be a strategy to limit bandwidth, as the owners have declared that they have no intent on introducing ads to the site. They have no plausible business model, yet the hype around the network has grown incrementally in the last few days, especially since the Ello founders called it the Anti-Facebook. They declared that in Facebook and Twitter the users are actually the product, and the clients are the advertisers. This gutsy thrashing of the networks made them really popular. But is it just hype about nothing?
Without a solid business plan, the future of the Ello social network is doubted by most if not all critics. There have been speculations about introducing premium features for paying customers. But as of now, there is a very strong lack of any features. There’s no search function, you have to log in every time you visit the site because of a lack of cookies. Somehow people are so desperate to run from Facebook that the first thing they hear about is the best thing. While many would have liked to move away from Facebook, this author included, since they messed up the newsfeed and several other features, there just wasn’t a viable alternative out there. Jumping aboard a sinking ship is no fun. Most people would rather be in a mall full of advertising and all their friends rather than in an empty dark alley that has no facilities.
For the time being, the Ello social network is not an option. If the owners would put some features, make it available for more users, and make it ad-supported, it might have a chance. Even the premium options might sound good, but these features are not even in the works, they’re just promises and speculations. The problem is Ello founders might not be the right people to make “the next Facebook” because they started off without a business plan or any idea of what they want to do. All they have is a severe allergy to Facebook, which many of us do, but that by itself does not make a social network.