Call Ello the little social network that could. Invitation-only, ad-free Ello has exploded in popularity in recent weeks, with early adopters and everyday consumers alike flocking to the network.
And Ello's really not even trying.
Members of the public seem so hungry for a place to interact with friends and share content outside of the prying (i.e., tracking) eyes of advertisers that they'll give the newcomer a shot despite early complaints about the less than user-friendly interface. Ello founder Paul Budnitz told the Boston Globe that over the past month, Ello's enrollment has been doubling every three or four days. In August, it had just 90 members; by late September, Ello was adding over 30,000 users per week. And it's still in private beta.
So, what is Ello and should you give it a try? Let's check it out.
An Ad-Free Facebook Alternative
Early adopters have been griping (in other social networks, of course) about the sometimes clunky Ello interface and difficult navigation. It's true; it's not the most fluid experience, but it's very early days. We tend to expect the same experience across networks that we've come to expect from the granddaddy of social media, Facebook.
Don't forget how long Facebook took to build the experience people enjoy now. New features are being added incrementally to Ello as are new users by invitation only. Right now, Ello looks and acts very much like a stripped-down Facebook, as seen in this photo of the homepage.