Social network newcomer Ello is an invite only service that wants to be the “Facebook Killer” by refusing to engage in any intrusive advertising and data mining.
Playing directly to tech hipsters, Ello’s front page states:
“Your social network is owned by advertisers. Every post you share, every friend you make and every link you follow is tracked, recorded and converted into data. Advertisers buy your data so they can show you more ads. You are the product that’s bought and sold. We believe there is a better way.”
The beta-stage operation requires an invite to join, but primary creator Paul Budnitz told media outlets that the site is seeing 4,000 sign-ups per hour. A story published Thursday from Betabeat, who spoke with Budnitz, suggests that number is now nearing 28,000 sign-ups per hour, and is risking the crash of Ello’s server farm.
Invites selling on eBay are rise dramatically as Ello gains traction. The driving force behind the muscular launch is because young hipsters are so excited they are inviting their entire contacts list just to hammer Facebook, Inc.’s business model.
Many new Ello converts are especially truly resentful a new Facebook policy that is cracking down on accounts not “associated with a government ID.” That includes musicians using pseudonyms and many in the LGBT community whom use alternate names to protect themselves, according to Brendan Byrne.
“I don’t know if it’s going to ever be ‘the next big thing,’ but it is definitely in the right place at the right time,” Christopher-Ian Reichel, a user-experience executive in New York told the Value Walk website. “And Facebook is at a critical moment where entire segments of its audience are all looking to jump ship.”
Facebook has kept ahead of its customers jumping ship by buying 40 companies, including its $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp that worked out to $40 per WhatsApp user. But Ello could be the right competitive model at a time when many people would like to see Facebook take a “Faceplant.”