Ello is a new social network that has a bunch of things going for it. Most notably the fact that it is ad free and doesn’t sell your data to third parties. It’s an interesting social networking platform that is in beta and is only accessible via an invite from an Ello member. I was fortunate enough to get an invite which gave me the ability to look at Ello.
The first thing I noticed about Ello is that it’s pretty stark:
This is the exact opposite to Facebook which can be insanely busy in terms of the look and feel. This is likely deliberate as Ello really wants to contrast themselves against Facebook.
Several elements of Ello’s design are smart:
- Your profile photo shows up within a circle, and you can follow other users by dragging their circular icons into either a “friends” or “noise” category, and recategorize them at any time.
- You can view a feed of updates from either category, with the “noise” one sporting a somewhat compressed, Tumblr-esque layout that makes it easier to glance at many posts at once.
One thing that really annoyed me was that it was really easy to delete a friend’s comment on one of your posts by clicking a tiny gray “x” next to the comment. But other than that, it was easy for me to figure out how Ello works. One thing to note is that Ello curates content so that you can find really interesting content.
Downsides? First, it’s a beta. So you can expect that there will be bugs and oddities. Second, the fact that it’s an invitation only means that the user base is likely small. The third thing is how Ello will pay for all this while still keeping out ads. They do say that it will soon offer “special features” that users can pay “a small amount” to get. It will be interesting to see what those are and if users will pay for them.
If you do get an invite for Ello, I’d say it’s worth trying out. I think as more people join Ello, it might be an interesting place to be. I’ll be keeping an eye on Ello.