If you’ve been paying attention to the news recently, you might have seen a blip about the new social media site called Ello. Ello, which is still invite only, is ad-free, and aims to remain that way. As an NPR article says:
Vermont is known for its green pastures, farmsteads and roads free of billboards. The founders of the new social network Ello live in the state, and they want to bring Vermont-like serenity to the Internet.
The critics are picking up on it, saying that it will remain hard not to sell user data in order to make money while still growing the user base. They have taken some venture money not long ago, so there is some notion now that their model might change.
What is interesting is the constant re-invention of social media and how people interact with it. People want to be more connected, in better ways online, but without the added problems of seeing ads and worrying about data mining. Perhaps there is a place out there for a Craigslist like site, which is non-profit, to replace the need for profit social media? I can attest to the serenity of Vermont, the highways are free of billboards, the air is clean and the people friendly. Good things must come from being outside the Silicon Valley and NYC scene of startups.
As the founder says he is…
confident that Ello can make money through a “freemium” model. Users would pay for extra features like the ability to access multiple accounts with a single login. He maintains that the founders don’t feel undue pressure to compromise their ideals, and says they’re content to stay small, and modestly profitable, in a Vermont kind of way.
What do you think? Are you using Ello? Have you been invited, or can you even be bothered to sign up for a new social media site? We’d like to hear from you — connect with us on Twitter and on LinkedIn or by email to follow the conversation.