You might have heard about Ello recently as thousands of people scrabble to get invited to the beta release of the social media site. You might have even heard that people have been leaving Facebook in droves as they join the new site. But what else do you know about Ello?
Ello is a new kind of social media site, designed by Paul Budnitz, an entrepreneur known for his art and design centric investments. He promises Ello will be an advertising-free social network and this has prompted some people to say that Facebook is ‘over’. What’s this, yet another next big thing?
Ello is run in the same way as every other social network. It’s a site where users follow others, post thoughts, opinions and miscellaneous links and then people comment on them in threads. It’s not new or groundbreaking.
“We are not trying to compete with Facebook,” Budnitz says. “We see Facebook as an advertising platform. We see Ello as a social network.”
That’s a pretty disingenuous comment from Budnitz. Facebook is a social media hub with an advertising framework laid over it later to monetise it. The reason Facebook is as big as it is is because there is significant investment in the site, investment that comes from being able to turn a profit. Ello has plans to monetise, but these come from paying for enhanced tools. If you want to chat on Ello, or if you want multiple users on one account, then you pay for it.
The thing is this: Users don’t hate advertisements. People use Facebook as a way of crowdsourcing purchasing habits. Ads on Facebook have a good hit rate, which proves that people aren’t getting upset by the ads on there.
Marketers may see Ello as another channel, another opportunity to give their brand a voice. But that is all it is. It’s not going to fundamentally change the marketing landscape.