Written by Tanya Barrrow

In The News

Why I Won’t Be Saying ‘Ello Ello

Self-confessed social media junkie Tanya Barrow would welcome a new network with open arms, right? Apparently not. And she’s not the only one. Here’s why.

Ello

My name is Tanya Barrow and I am a social media whore.

The chances are you’ve never heard of me before, but you might have seen one of the 121,000 tweets I have sent from my @mummybarrow account. I love social media – and have even won awards for it and used it to raise nearly £50,000 for Comic Relief. But when I heard about Ello, a new social media network recently, it quickly became apparent I wasn’t going to rush to join.

Ello, it’s claimed, is about to become “the new Facebook”. It was founded by 47-year-old Californian Paul Budnitz, whose website (www.budnitz.com) states: “Paul conceives and creates beautiful things that change the world”. Interestingly, Ello comes third on his list behind his bicycle business and kidrobot.

So, why launch a new social network? And what is the USP? It seems Budnitz wanted something more organic, something minimalist. The manifesto on the website states: “Your social network is owned by advertisers … You are not a product.”

This means Ello prides itself on not selling your information to advertisers, something Facebook does. And that’s kind of my whole point – Ello is defining itself as “not something else”. It’s not a great start. Turns out, it’s not only me that thinks so: according to data from Google Trends, interest in Ello is waning almost as quickly as it started.

Currently you have to beg email Ello and request to join, or be “invited” by somebody who is already a member. Ello states requests are being used at a rate of 31,000 an hour – we don’t know how many are actually signing up. And if you have to ask to join rather than simply signing up, that’s hardly inclusive, is it?

As a user, do I really want to invest my time in another platform that I am not sure will be around for long enough to make my time investment worthwhile? It’s the Betamax/VHS dilemma all over again.

Ello allows you to share your random thoughts in a timeline like Twitter or post pictures like Tumblr/Instagram/Pinterest and send messages to online friends like Facebook. It does these things reasonably well, but not as well as the other platforms. It doesn’t have the features Facebook has, or the conversation handling Twitter has, or the theme handling of Pinterest.

From what I can see, Ello promises these features will come as it rolls out further updates. Some of which, Budnitz says, users will have to pay for.

And there’s the catch. The company has to create revenue. The platform was launched back in March with a $400,000 investment from venture capitalists who are going to want a return on their investment. Where is that revenue going to come from? The users.

Ello claims many features will be free and only some will be chargeable but will users really pay for them? What happens though if they don’t?

As a user, do I really want to invest my time in another platform that I am not sure will be around for long enough to make my time investment worthwhile? It’s the Betamax/VHS dilemma all over again.

Ello feels like a clique that I have to beg to get in and makes me feel like I am back at school, waiting to get picked for the netball team. And yet, I’m not in the slightest bit interested in signing up. I am more than happy to have the odd ad on a feed in Facebook or Twitter, and now even in Instagram.

I am happy for the platform to make money, to cover costs and for the people who work to earn something. Why is that something for Ello to be ashamed of?

793 Views
Share:
  • googleplus
  • linkedin
  • rss
  • pinterest

Written by Tanya Barrrow

T, never Tanya please, is a mum of three teens who is trying to live life to the full. @MummyBarrow