WTF Is All This Buzz About Ello?

We all love social media. It’s transformed our world, for better or worse. People can communicate instantly with other users on different continents. They can use it to tell others about their experiences with companies or products, good or bad. They can use it to share videos of cats riding Roombas in a shark outfit, or play Candy Crush when their boss is out of the office. The undisputed champion of social media is Facebook, although Twitter is also a key player. New platforms come and go, but most make barely a ripple. Something’s changed. A new challenger has come along, and this time people are sitting up and taking notice. Could Ello be the Facebook killer?

Just WTF Is Ello?
Unless you’ve been living in a monastery, or Lubbock, Texas, you’ll have heard of Ello. It’s the latest search engine to be launched, but this one is already making an impact. Ello has been one of the most talked about subjects on Facebook, and has been trending globally on Twitter. It’s even made headlines with traditional media giants such as the BBC. And the strangest thing of all? Most people have never seen or used it. Ello is invite only at the moment, and if your names not on the list, you’re not coming in. Do you like being teased, or do you want to slap Ello around the face, and make it beg for mercy?

 
What’s Great About Ello
Ello is the brainchild of Paul Budnitz. It’s being labelled the anti-Facebook, because it’s putting user privacy first, and there will be no adverts. Zip. Nada. People loved Facebook before it started bombarding them with ads. Now they love it much less, but because they’ve spent so long on it and have so many contacts there, they put up with the intrusive commercialism. Ello want to change that.

They’ve also created a funky interface, which bears more than a little resemblance to Tumblr. It’s picture heavy, but we all love pictures right? I wasn’t talking to you, Jennifer Lawrence.

What’s Not So Great About Ello
Is the invite only start a clever marketing campaign, or will it alienate potential users? The waiting list could stretch on for years before Joe Public like you and me get to use it. Who wants to wait that long?

Rumor has it that the invite only beginning was out of necessity rather than intentional. I’ve spoken to people who have used it. They say that it’s functionality isn’t great, as yet, it’s not the fastest, and it’s not as intuitive and easy to use as Facebook, Twitter or Google +.

Will Ello Kill Facebook?
It’s certainly got off to a great start, publicity-wise, but has Ello really got what it takes to down Zuckerburg and co? In a word, no. The invitation only start may seem clever at first glance, but it can be a fatal flaw in their strategy. They’re using the first invitees as guinea pigs, but launching a social media platform when it’s not fully up to speed is a big mistake. They’re also alienating businesses. If they can’t use it for promotional purposes, why should they take an interest in it? Ello may yet transform itself into a social media giant, but at the moment it’s heading for a goodbye in my mind.

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