Everything you need to know about the ad-free, invite-only social network.
Ello-awareness is now bleeding into the mainstream.The site is doubling in size every three to four days, fielding tens of thousands of new user requests every hour and currently attracting the sort of hype-fuelled attention that is either short-lived or… exactly what the next Facebook would look like.
Invite only – but you can buy them on eBay
This tactic was so successful that the site even had to temporarily freeze invitations to make sure that “Ello remains stable as the network continues to grow,” with the creators reporting that they’re currently getting around 34,000 requests an hour.
If you want to join you can head to the site and add your name to the waiting list but there’s no telling how long it’ll be before you get that tap on the shoulder. Would-be users are better off searching for ‘Ello invites’ on Twitter where people are posting their invite codes for fun – much more sensible than taking to eBay, where invites are on sale for a handful of dollars.
No adverts – but controversy over funding
Without ads, how will Ello make money to run itself? Tech blogger Andy Baio stirred up outrage among users when he revealed that Ello received some $435,000 in seed funding from a venture capital firm named FreshTracks Capital this January.
Porn friendly and real names not required
Alongside the ‘ad free’ promise, Ello’s other big promise is to give more freedom to users. Unlike Facebook there’s no real name policy and user can post all the nipples and NSFW content they like.
Ello is pretty bare bones at the moment. Users simply create a profile and start following others (like Twitter) with the result being a stream of posts/status updates from other users who can be designated as ‘friends’ or ‘noise’.