With 1.23 billion active monthly users, Facebook is far and away the most popular social network.
Do you remember MySpace? It was the big guy until Facebook took over.
And can you remember the days when Yahoo! was the dominant search engine?
Every giant gets slain sometime, and it happens rapidly in the tech world.
Now Ello Enters the Arena
Whether Ello overtakes Facebook or not is yet to be seen. And its founder, Paul Budnitz (from Vermont), didn’t even design it to compete with Facebook.
He did dub it the “anti-Facebook” because it would not have ads and would never sell user data. It was only intended for 90 of Paul’s friends, but it now gets more than 31,000 requests per hour from people who want to join!
If only all business ideas worked that way…
Now if you look at Ello, it’s actually very simplistic.
Budnitz does not like Facebook because he considers it an advertising platform. He believes everything on the site is done to help advertisers make and spend money.
So how will Ello’s business model work?
Budnitz plans to restrict access to certain features until users pay.
It’s a new way for social networks to make money because they’re traditionally based on the free-for-user-pay-for-advertisers revenue model.
Will the free market choose to stay with the more popular Facebook, or will it slowly show a preference for Ello?
Hard to say.
Why You Might Like Ello
It does have some cool and innovative features. But, the real point of this social network is to keep things as minimalistic as possible.
Here are a few things it does:
- Opt Out of Usage Tracking
Ello uses Google Analytics to anonymously track your usage activity. Every other major social network forces you to provide this data – but Ello lets you opt out.
- Categorize Content as “Friends” or Noise
You can check the “Friends” tab, which lets you see posts from anyone – you guessed it – who’s a friend. But then there’s a completely separate “Noise” tab where you can see content you’re less interested in. Facebook forces you to see both types.
- Hide Your Identity
The Ello Facemaker tool, which may not work at the time of this writing, lets you post the Ello logo on your face. Paul Budnitz likes the idea of making social networks more anonymous, so you can do this at Ello.
Ello is in Beta
You have to get invited in, but people are entering in droves. Regardless of what happens in the future, it will be interesting.