Social Media site Ello has created a lot of online buzz in the last few days. Ello, also called as the anti-Facebook network, is ads-free and offers advanced privacy options.
Ello was launched by a group of programmers and artists led by Paul Budnitz. The site is being promoted as a "private" social network and is on invitation-only basis. According to reports, Ello has got up to 35,000 requests per hour and the invitations have been selling on eBay for up to $500. Ello's creators say that the site will remain free to use forever, but users will have to pay "a very small amount of money" for premium features.
The company's "manifesto" states: "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."
Ello's policy states that collecting and selling personal data for profit "is both creepy and unethical." "Ello doesn't sell ads. Nor do we sell data about you to third parties," the company says. "Under the guise of offering a 'free' service, users pay a high price in intrusive advertising and lack of privacy."
Facebook has been criticized recently for separating its Messenger into its own app, increased auto play video ads on mobile leading to higher data charges as well as privacy issues. Facebook received negative press for deleting profiles of drag queens for not following its "real names" policy. Ello, however, doesn't have a "real name" policy
"We want you to be exactly who you are," said Todd Berger, one of the designers for Ello. "We don't really care -- we don't want the data associated with the name because we're not selling it." That is the sites biggest draw.
"When we started building Ello, we started with a few principles," said Budnitz. "The first is: no ads. A social network doesn't have to be complicated and it especially doesn't have to be that way if it doesn't have ads." He stated if a social network shows ads, it makes the advertiser their customer, not the user. "The thing that's being sold is the user," he said. Also Read: Bored of Facebook? Join this exclusive social network for $9000