In Cyber Safety, The Digital World

Ello: The Next Big Thing?

The vast world of the Internet is expanding every day. Everyday, new websites are launched. Every minute, thousands of people join online social networks. Some choose a certain platform and make a home of it, and some like to experience with everything and have a little activity everywhere. The Internet has developed so much it’s now capable of offering us a full completely artificial world, but a still very real life. We would like to introduce you to one of the most recent social media websites: Ello.

We can understand the fascination with the simplicity and smoothness of communication in a digital sphere. We can also understand that what used to be a complementary of real life has now become a whole new life of its own. Some social media websites allow you a new persona, new social circle, and a leading role in their communities. So if you’re a Twitter celebrity or if you have a “Tumblr girlfriend,” then you probably get what we are talking about.

|SEE ALSO: Social Networking Safety|

What Is Ello?

Ello provides Internet users with an ad-free social network where they are not evaluated as a “product.” Ello’s slogan is “simple, beautiful & ad-free,” and it is still in the beta phase. In this phase, the software is feature complete but still has a lot of bugs. It still experiences crashes or data loss. But generally, a beta release is the first version of the software that is made available to public users.

Registration in Ello is exclusively through invites during the beta phase.

So… What Is Really New?

For a new social media website to flourish, it will need to provide Internet users with a new concept. Let us take a careful look on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The three social networks share many of their basic features. On all of them, you can like other members’ posts, you can leave a comment, and you can add your own contributions. The three of them allow you a circle of friends or followers. And the three of them almost share the same privacy settings. But what sets them apart? What makes one better than the other in your opinion? Why would you favor Facebook, while your best friend favors Twitter? The answer is because they each introduce a new concept. Twitter’s basic concept of a 140-letter short statement and Instagram’s photos only policy allow the user a distinct and different experience. That is why despite Facebook’s raging success, the two succeeding social networks have managed to gain the love and loyalty of millions of users.

So what is really special about Ello? Why would you, an average user of at least 4 different social media accounts, decide to register for a new only a few-month-old website? Ello’s developers promise you a different experience.

In Ello’s “Manifesto”, the developers explain that most social networks treat their users as a “product.” They carefully monitor your activities, your likes, and your comments. They save your data, and they categorize you into groups of potential consumers. For them, you’re a set of data that they sell to the highest bidders.

In a way, that is true. Ads target you based on the data collected about your online activity. Ello developers believe in “transparency.” They promise to offer you a social network where you can freely connect with others and “celebrate life” without deception, privacy invasion, or any capitalistic interests.

A Free Social Network

Social networks provide a free service. In return, they benefit from your visits in the form of ads. These ads are constantly thrown at you each time you check your profile or watch that new video. Because Ello is ad-free, you might expect a registration fee. That is not the case. Ello developers promise you an ever-free service. Ello’s registration is completely free; the developers explain that along the way Ello might provide extra features for small fees. You can of course choose to go without the extra features, but the small sum of money will definitely help support the network.

To assure that Ello remains a free social network forever and to guarantee no ads ever find their way to its users, Ello was converted to a Public Benefit Corporation. That is, the business aims at making money, not mainly for the shareholders, but for the society as a whole.

In August 2014, Ello had only 90 users. This number skyrocketed during the past year; the CEO states that Ello has about one million users now, increasing consistently. To register, you need to have someone already on the network to send you an invitation. Alternatively, you can “request an invitation” and wait for your turn. But the wait might be long; Ello’s CEO claims 3 million requests are already on his waiting list.

Ello: The Next Big Social Network?

In an always fluctuating world like that of the Internet, it can be a little tricky to pinpoint the next big thing. But Ello is certainly promising. One of the greatest features the free social network offers is the no real-names enforcement policy.

Facebook prohibits the use of nicknames or fake names, although the policies have recently been tweaked. The real name policy has compromised the freedom, privacy, and safety of many people. This is especially the case for the LGBT community, who in many countries around the world are still prosecuted and harassed. Consequently, many members of the LGBT community have chosen to leave Facebook behind and seek the light friendly atmosphere of Ello.

A look at the website would probably intrigue you. The style is charming and user-friendly. Moreover, Ello’s Manifesto is very individualistic. You would also notice a general affable tone all over the website. Ello provides you with a detailed history of its creation and explains its policies one by one, stressing on its condemnation of exploitation or user’s manipulation.

If you have already fallen in love with Ello’s suave manifesto or with its liberal almost hippie philosophy, go request an invitation now. In a few months, probably most of your friends will be begging you for an invitation.

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