In recent weeks the word being muttered by those in the digital industries is 'Ello'; The latest social network which has been touted as the new 'Anti-Facebook'. People have been flocking to invite only site, with reports of over 31,000 requests to join being made each hour.
Aside from the debate about whether or not Ello is going to become the next social network, publicity for it has both spread far and wide, something which few other new social sites have been able to do in recent years. Just have a look at the data from Google trends:
I managed to bag an invite a couple of days ago so here's my first impressions. And if you're already using the site you can add me at: https://ello.co/danwht.
Although not officially advertising itself as the 'anti-facebook', Ello's mission statement does position itself as the antithesis to Zuckerberg's creation. It has a strong ad free policy and won't pass your data onto any third parties. Perfect for those who are frustrated with how liberally their data is shared elsewhere.
Clean, sleek and minimalist it certainly has an aesthetic appeal marking it out from the noise of other social networking sites. The Ello team clearly acknowledge that as the site is still in beta, it's clearly buggy, but I appreciate their honesty with their checklist of future fixes to the site.
How it Works:
Much like every other site you've ever registered with, Ello allows you to add an profile image, tagline and away you go. You add people to follow and they follow you back and share content.
The most distinctive aspect of the site is that when choosing to follow people you can allocate them into two categories 'Friend' or 'Noise', neatly partitioning individuals into people you're genuinely interested in, whilst the others are separated into their own curiosity corner.
Once you login for the first time the site's opening message puts emphasis on people sharing 'quality' content, so as with any new site there is a slew of bearded photographers and graphic designers showcasing their work.
With the huge amount of recent publicity, Ello has quickly become a viable alternative to Facebook according to the press. Almost all of the aspects of the site are distinctly refreshing and I will be genuinely interested to see how the site evolves.
The one limiting factor though is that it doesn't have any sort of USP. Facebook has it's like button, Twitter its 140 character messages. Pinterest and its pins.
But with Ello?
Well, there isn't really anything.
Positioning about what it isn't deviates from the the positive aspects about what the site is. It will be a great place to network with creative types, but it doesn't offer a whole lot more. You can see photos, status updates and so on, but there isn't anything revolutionary in the way people can create, digest and share content.
We shall wait and see. I'd love to know what other people think of the site, so just stick your comments below.