Not many years ago, social network sites seemed to appear and disappear within weeks, but the current trio of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have been hanging around for an eternity by comparison. Add in Google+ and Instagram and you have yourselves a relatively settled social network scene.
But there have been murmurings of a new rival, and to be fair, it’s been needed. The new contender is called Ello, and it has been borne from frustrations concerning the ways in which user data has been monetised and how privacy functionality has been handled. In short, this is a place that attempts to make its user base feel in control.
Ello’s key features are that it is invite-only and has a strong affiliation to design and artistic communities. That’s not to say, however, that it will stay niche. For example, Facebook started out as a very small University-based network and grew quickly from there.
The site launched in March 2013 and has developed unspectacularly. But since Facebook started targeting people not using their real names on their service there has been a steady exodus from Facebook to Ello (which allows the use of aliases). This may have been a costly error by Facebook, understandably trying to reduce the number of spammers but perhaps overlooking the many other reasons people use aliases.
Viewing comments from people currently using Ello, the general feeling is that the design is much less cluttered than Facebook, especially considering the lack of advertisements.
It remains to be seen how Ello will develop from here. In simple business terms, the more users, the greater the cost of maintaining the operation, and therefore the greater the pressure to turn its popularity into hard cash. Advertising or charging are the only straightforward methods of doing this without directly reversing its original objective to protect user data. Neither will be popular.
The other interesting thing to watch will be how Facebook reacts to this unexpected newcomer. Fascinating times indeed.
For businesses looking to stay ahead of the curve, using Ello will certainly be a good place to start. Rosco Digital Media will be keeping tabs on how the site develops from here and will inform our customers of how best to utilise it from the perspective of small businesses.
For more information on Rosco’s services, contact us today.