30.09.14 by Jeff

Is The Ad-Free Social Network Ello The Facebook Killer?


I’m interested to know what people’s thoughts are on the new ad-free social network, Ello. Many are calling it the “Facebook Killer” and the “Anti-Facebook”, while others are quite skeptical. Some are concerned that, because of the $435k of seed funding Ello received from a Venture Capital film (source), they won’t actually keep their word and will eventually turn around sell all the users and make their exit.

I joined Ello to see what all the hype was about (I haven’t done much, but you can find me here: ello.co/booooooom) and I have to admit it does feel like a breath of fresh air, at least in terms of how relaxing the user experience is. This is probably due to the fact that not many people are on it yet but it feels more like an image bookmarking site than a social network. I guess this is where my skepticism comes in, will anyone besides graphic designers actually use this thing? If you’re tired of Facebook, do you even want to jump to a new platform?

Apparently they “don’t have a problem with porn” (source) and are going to allow NSFW content. It appears they’re trying to be less Facebook and more Tumblr with this decision (as well as their decision to open the flood gates on animated gifs). The failure of Google+ so far proves that people don’t want their social network to be like Pinterest; the question Ello poses is do I want my social network to be like Tumblr?

If you haven’t received an invite to try out Ello yet, I have a few invites. Leave a comment below, and I’ll randomly pick a few people at the end of the day. Regardless if you’re on Ello or not, if you have some thoughts on what your ideal social network would look like, lets hear ’em.


Jeff Hamada is the Founder and Editor of Booooooom. He lives and works in Vancouver.

  • Nalim Garzesi

    its nice idea. but everything is cool in the first look.


  • aio

    Hello ello hell-lo


  • Thanks, Jeff. I’d like to try it out if you have leftover invites. Cheers.

  • fer p.

    i guess it’s worth a try. hvezdaaa at gmail.

  • Looks interesting. I’d like an invite :) Cheers

  • Isolated Stare

    Yes, I’d like to try it out if you have any spare invites. Cheers!

  • Jess

    yes please. firefuegofire at gmail

  • A-aron

    I’d love an invite if you’re giving ’em out :)

  • i’d love an invite! my work involves investigations in to social networks…sounds interesting.

    • “investigations in to social networks” — sounds ominous. Anyway, if that’s your job, why aren’t you on top of that already!?

      • I’m more interested in following the natural flow of people’s interactions with the Internet and the effects that follow. Being on top of every social media RIGHT as it gets popularized sounds like a job for a marketing firm…

  • Mauricio Moraes

    invite pelase! mauriciocmoraes at gmail :)

  • I’ve got an account and I’m not very impressed. I don’t really see it having the same reach as Facebook would any time soon, nor the uplift that Facebook once had after the MySpace booooooom.

    There have been many failed attempts between the rise of Facebook and the present day for ‘a new Facebook’ — some solid attempts and others not-so — and I don’t think there’s the demand for a social network that there once was.

    The future of the social network appears to ‘micro-sharing’ (to say, with selective sharing to individuals or just a few other friends) where the technology is embedded in wearable devices or devices that people carry daily. If you’re not working on that now, which Google and Facebook are, you’re missing out on the next real wave of user interaction.

    • Sarah Blum

      insightful post!

      also, “MySpace booooooom” = greatness

    • i agree with what you’re saying here

  • Sarah Blum

    I quit Facebook a few years ago, and I would like to try a new social network (ad-free would be ideal!). I don’t have a smartphone, any sort of i-devices, and I’m probably 2 shades away from a complete Luddite, but I do like having a convenient way to rally my friends for events and gatherings. And I like to see what they’re up to, even if it is the minutae of life.

    simone.bataille at gmail dot com

  • why not. i have no friends in real life anyway.

  • Robert Blackwell

    I am pretty interested in this. I requested an invitation today but I’d also like to be considered for the random drawing. Seems like it might bring a new sense of safety to social networking

  • Aaron Martin

    Clean and minimal. Would love to see what the site looks like and how it functions from a user.

    aaronwithtwoas at gmail

  • Alessandra Corona

    I am excited to check out the interface. Also, to refresh my life by starting over in the social networking world. Seems more artist/designer friendly. An invite would be greatly appreciated.

  • Naz Yunt

    If there are any invites left I would like to try something new and see what the fuss is all about. :)

  • Tom Cooley

    Thanks for the review; I’ll be curious to check it out for myself, of course, but it never hurts to see what others are saying about the latest “new thang” to judge how well or poorly it may pan out. P.S. – haven’t got an invite yet, in case you happen to pick me ;)

  • Alison

    i’d love an invite if anyone has one! alisonharason@gmail.com

  • lk145

    My beef with ello so far is that the user interface is *not* user friendly. It’s not at all intuitive who can see what and how to reply to stuff. Minimalism in itself doesn’t make something easier to use. It’s just that the companies that tend to think out their user experience more tend to use minimalism in addition to actually thinking out the layout and user interaction.

    I really dig that they are far more respectful of users’ data than other social networks, and I think the look of it is pretty slick. I hope they keep iterating and improving.

    • i find the same thing, i dont want my house to look like a contemporary gallery, i want a comfortable couch not a white cube to sit on.

  • really want to try it, it would bee great to recieve an invite!

  • Morijah Oslund

    Hmm the invite only thing is a bit intriguing! After a small little browse through, it looks tidy and well organized.. I’d be game to try it out.

  • scott dye

    I’d love to see the following in a social media site: No ads, no capitalism, and no data invasion; people just being cool, creating and sharing consciously.

  • Rebeka Cimelli

    yes please to an invite in anyone has a spare one :) rebeka.lord@gmail.com

  • Ralph Spegel

    I’d Like an invitation, please.

  • Sarah Blum, Katie Bird, Charlie Campbell, and James Nathan check your inboxes, I sent you invites.

    • Thanks, Jeff! Got the invite. Much appreciated :)

  • I can easily see this as a potential social network for artists, where they congregate around imagery and sound. Where they share stuff and comment much better than in Tumblr, which is a snobbish sharing, IMHO. And Instagram is so… Square… I always vote yes for house cleaning.

    But this needs to be worked out, and the hype must be caught for them to grow a bit. I would like that. And social networks should be about what we would like. Also, they will have paid services. I mean, it’s almost impossible with that kind of money commitment.

  • Riemer v/d Wijk

    Please read this:
    Ello, just like Facebook and Twitter, needs to make profit. This article talks about the fact and basically explains why their actual manifest is bogus.

  • please send me an invite tks :)

  • elliotjackson

    I would kill for an invite!

  • If anyone else needs an invite, get one while you can here http://ello-invite.com/

  • Lilly Huerta

    I’m curious to see how it works and design wise for the website. I would too like an invite please.

  • Dulcina Abreu

    Maybe, It doesnt need to be a comparison with facebook or another social media. Its just another one and in design terms its very well organized. I really agree with the idea that this ad-free will be a rupture between users and the use that your information received at the moment of be posting. The privacy manifesto talks about another thing than popularity i think.

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