People are buzzing about a new invite-only social network called Ello.
Created by designer Paul Budnitz, Ello features a gorgeous, highly visual design that has a strict no-ads policy.
Unlike Facebook and other popular social networks, Ello is championing the idea that people are tired of being bombarded with advertisements and having their information data mined and sold.
It seems to be working; Budnitz recently told BetaBeat that Ello is receiving 4000 requests per hour.
Ello even has a manifesto, which clearly states that Ello will never run advertisements or sell your information. Instead of ad revenue, Ello will keep the lights on by offering new features for a small fee. It will always be free to use Ello, but if you want to try the newest must-have feature, you’ll have to pay.
The lack of ads gives Ello a sleek and uncluttered feel, and all the extra screen real estate allows for user profiles that are powerfully visual.
Users can easily set the tone of their profile with an expansive header photo, which acts a bit like a Facebook cover photo, but one that is full-sized. While it’s not full visible when you visit a profile, it’s easy to scroll upwards to reveal its entirety.
Here’s what Ello creator Paul Budnitz’s profile looks like.
Here are a few more examples of some public Ello profiles.
Ello is still in a closed beta, so it’s still fleshing out all of its features, but it’s still fully functional as a social network.
You can comment, @mention other users, and see how many views your post has received. Users can post images and GIFs, and Ello plays nicely with emojis too.
Future features will include user blocking, audio integration with SoundCloud, private accounts, reposts, an iPhone and Android app, video integration, @@ private messaging, and much more.
You browse Ello by surfing either a Friends or Noise feed.
Your Friends feed features full posts with huge images, and your Noise feeds compresses things down to a Tumblr-esque summaries that are easy to browse quickly, according to BetaBeat.
Here’s what the Noise feed looks like.
Ello’s ad-free idea has been tried before by Diaspora and App.net, both of which failed to catch on, so it will be interesting to see if people are fed up enough with Facebook and its ad to make the switch.
If you’re interested in trying out Ello for yourself, you can request an invite right over here.
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