What you need to know about Ello

What is Ello?

Ello is a new social media site that was launched this summer but is now gaining momentum and popularity—it’s been reported that about 38,000 users are joining every hour. Created by a group of artists and designers, its founders have dubbed it the “anti-Facebook”, with a focus on increased privacy and no advertising by businesses.

This is especially enticing to many online users who are tired of ads on their personal newsfeed, concerned about data being collected from their social activities and profiles, and/or recently booted from Facebook for not using a “real” name.

How does it work?

It looks like a mix of Twitter and Tumblr, with “friends” working more as Twitter “followers”, and @ mentions used to talk to specific individuals. This particular feature is still being built, but if you double the mention (@@), your Ello will become a private message to that person. (For example, you’d type “@@ingridfk Hi Ingrid!” to say hi to me privately.)

There are two newsfeed streams called “Friends” and “Noise”; if you add an individual as a “friend’, you’ll receive their updates and the person will be alerted that you’re following them. If you add the individual to “noise”, you’ll receive their updates but the individual won’t be alerted that you’re following. Like most social networks, you can post status updates, comment on others’ and connect with individuals and brands. Should my business join Ello?

Some companies, like Netflix, have already joined Ello, but many have not.

My advice?


It’s too early yet to see if the site will take off, and customers are limited to receiving an invite in order to join the site (one of Ello’s conditions while it’s in private-beta mode).

In the meantime, companies should continue concentrating their resources on sites they know are reaching their customers in a successful way, while keeping an eye on Ello as it develops.

If it starts to become a serious competitor in the social space, then it will be time for each company to re-evaluate the decision to join based on its objectives, target demographic, and resources.

In the meantime, you can request an invite to join the site here. Once there, don’t forget to say “ello” to me!

Until next time,