Since the late 2000’s our world has been overtaken with social media and has been given the gift of connectivity. However, with this gift of connectedness comes forced advertising and low privacy standards. Today, it is just a normal day when we open our Facebook app and scroll through content from our friends, family and brands that are seeking our attention. A social media network that attempted to break the mold that Facebook created is Ello.
Ello is a social media network dedicated to give its users the gift of connectivity while sparing them the overwhelming amounts of forced advertising and promising to protect their privacy by not selling user information to third parties. This 2014 social media creation is dedicated to differentiate itself from other networks who are owned by advertisers. While many labeled Ello as the “Facebook killer”, the network’s creators had a much different intention for Ello. They managed to fill a gap in the social media world and became the niche network for digital creators.
A religious user of Ello described the tone of the network as, “more like an artist’s colony than a big social media site”. When comparing Ello to Facebook or Tumblr, users rave about the positive atmosphere that Ello has created. Ello lacks the re-sharing and direct commenting features that other networks have. Feedback is given through direct messages rather than public comments, which eliminates the trolls that are usually on patrol.
Ello gives its creative users a safe, positive community where they can share their digital work. The network has shown tremendous growth since its beginning announcement back in 2014. While it will never have the user base or revenue stream that the large media moguls have, Ello serves a needed purpose for its users. I foresee Ello’s future as continuing to be a free space where creative content can be shared and positively discussed. However, I cannot see long term use for this network without the compromise of its core values: maintaining an ad-free atmosphere and the promise of its users privacy.