The newest, 'you can't sit with us' social media platform. It's been around for over a week now, and it seems harder to get a invite than getting yourself into the Soho Club. You've seen your really active friends on Facebook and Twitter gloat about these golden ticket 'ello invites', and some smart jerk is selling his for $50 on eBay - and there have 14 other jerks who have actually bought them.
What's it like on the inside? Well, it kinda has the same feeling when you've waited in line for a club, to get in and realise it's actually more fun in the line.
Anyway, there are a mixture of hybrid theories to what Ello actually is, in my head I see it as a mash between Twitter and Tumblr, purely because of the gif situation, which excites me, and you can also post porn, which probably excites you... and if you're really smart, you can post gif-porn which probably excites everyone.
Ello refers to itself as 'simple, beautiful and ad-free' - which is the equivalent of a really great selfie shot in fabulous light, because honestly it's pretty bland, but for this beta platform gaining more than 31,000 sign-up requests an hour, it seems to be getting more traction than Kimye.
Why do you want to be apart of Ello? besides it being the new black of social media, it's manifesto is pretty sexy and succinct.
"Your social network is owned by advertisers. Every post you share, every friend you make and every link you follow is tracked, recorded and converted into data. Advertisers buy your data so they can show you more ads. You are the product that’s bought and sold."
"We believe there is a better way... We believe a social network can be a tool for empowerment. Not a tool to deceive, coerce and manipulate — but a place to connect, create and celebrate life."
I'm on Ello, my brands are all on Ello, and if you're smart you'd also sign yourself up to nab a username before some dweeb with nothing else to do
But the main thing right now? Nobody actually on Ello understands what it's for. Some people are posting anime GIFs. Some people are using it like a blog. Because this is the internet, people are posting cat pics. It's a free-for-all. It's simultaneously exciting but terrifying; like when you first joined Myspace and went around friending everybody you knew in school, including your weird lab partner from chemistry. Bizarrely, it's also created a feedback loop of Ello users complaining about Ello on Twitter and Twitter users asking for Ello invites:
Ello's spike in popularity this week has been boosted by what's been called "The Great Gay Facebook Exodus". LGBTQ users have fled the social network, alienated by Facebook's recent decision to disable the accounts of drag performers who use their stage names instead of their "real" names. People are sick of social media being used to flog products, brands or (worse) "personal brands", and increasingly suspicious of how their personal data is being mined for profit. Ello's pro-you, anti-ad stance couldn't have come at a better time.
But because the internet hype cycle is capable of running itself into the ground in 24 hours and under, people have already started poking holes in Ello. Its layout is a "design disaster". For a company that promotes a more welcoming and diverse social network, it also appears to have been built by faceless white dudes.