You may have heard rumours at the water cooler about Ello, a mysterious, invite-only new social network that some are touting as a Facebook-killer.
While we’re not sure Ello is quite poised to threaten the dominance of Mark Zuckerberg and co, it’s certainly got tongues wagging. And tweeting.
Here’s what you need to know.
Ellow first launched in April, describing itself as a community of artists, designers and generally clever crafty types.
Ello cleverly positioned itself away from the crowd by taking the somewhat un-social stance of being invite only. That means you can only be invited to join Ello by an existing member, or request an invite.
Ello doesn’t specify what it looks for when pre-approving members, but being a barista or having some sleeve tatts can’t hurt.
Aside from its door policy, Ello’s real point of difference appears to be its pledge not to advertise to users, or sell their data.
This stance has struck a cord and by last week Ello was seeing 31,000 requests for membership every hour.
New monetary model?
However Ello isn’t an entirely altruistic affair. Instead of advertising Ello plans to monetise by charging users to access special features.
These might include the ability to upload a GIF as your profile image.
The model has worked for mobile gaming and it will be interesting to see how it pans out on a social network.
Brave new virtual world
In a digital world where it’s pretty much a given any platform will serve ads and sell user data, Ello sounds like a breath of fresh virtual air.
Provided you land an invite of course.
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