A new social media platform, Ello, is taking a new approach to social media — one quite the opposite of Facebook.
“Ello is a simple, beautiful, and ad-free social network created by a small group of artists and designers,” their website reads. The website also states that there are no third-parties purchasing users’ personal information.
The network originally began as a private social network, but as their name became known, more people wanted to join, so they decided to make it open to the public. Although it is open to anyone, one cannot join without first being invited.
Ello’s website provides a “manifesto” that stresses social networks should not be used to manipulate people through advertising — treating people as products. “We believe a social network can be a tool for empowerment,” the website reads. “Not a tool to deceive, coerce and manipulate — but a place to connect, create and celebrate life.”
The company recently converted to a Public Benefit Corporation status, which ensures they will always remain ad-free.
Some were vocally hesitant of the new social network, discrediting its design. Others questioned the company receiving $450,000 from a venture capital firm in Vermont. Paul Budnitz, the network’s co-founder, did not shy away from responding to the criticism.
“Ello is doing some disruptive, anti-authoritarian social media giant slamming,” according to Converge Magazine, “but [people] need some time to see how the company chooses to use the attention and influence it’s receiving.”