Yaaaaaaawn. It’s been about a month since the “ad-free alternative to Facebook,” Ello, was making headlines and growing with a virility which has been unseen in social media for some time. On or around September 26, 2014, news was hitting other social channels that people were flocking like mad to this advertising-free social media platform. I figured the news would die out in a few days, so I put it into my “save” list and went about my business.
About a week later, October 2, I caved and headed over to Ello for an invite. I was quickly sent an email telling me that they didn’t have the server capacity to let everybody in, but they were working on it, “As fast as we can.”
Last week, October 23, the Ello team sent me an email! While I had nearly forgotten about the social media platform that had promised not to sell my data or serve me ads, I got excited and quickly opened the email. To my dismay, however, it was just an email letting me know that Ello filed for a PBC, making them a public benefit corporation. This means that while they are a for-profit organization, they can “never” make money selling ads or selling user data, and if the organization is ever sold, the new owners would have to adhere to those same rules.
I was skeptical, but it didn’t matter since I still didn’t have an invite.
In the news, this week, it was announced that Ello raised $5.5 million in venture capital, and that it planned to make money by offering users premium features at a cost. Cool! I have no idea what the non-premium features even are, though, because at this point I am still without an invite.
Reminiscent of the Google+ Launch
The Ello launch reminds me a lot of the launch of Google+ back in June of 2011. There was a lot of hype and buzz about how Google+ was poised to be a “Facebook killer,” and that Facebook was going to go the way of Myspace thanks to the search giant. However, Google delayed the launch, made it an invite-only extravaganza, and limited the audience who could participate in the site. This while all of the free, potential-user-gaining hype was making its waves across the news media.
G+ didn’t open its flood gates to all users until the hype was over, and now they’re trying to force Google+ down our throats to make up for it.
Unfortunately for Ello, they don’t have the power of the world’s largest search engine behind them to make up for the hype they lost by not having a scalable business model.
Don’t send me an invite
It has been 27 long, Ello-less days, but I don’t want your pity. Please don’t send me an Ello invite. I want to see how long it takes before they are finally ready to let me in. I’ll update you when they do.
I received my Ello invite, today! It’s only been 48 days! So glad they were able to keep the excitement up for this long.