Ello: The Indie Social Network

By - Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

For those who haven’t seen the sprawling pages of dazzling .jpegs and .gif images that constitute the ad-free social network, Ello: do.

The platform launched as an exclusive invite-only social network, with potential users scanning the internet, trolling forums and pleading with friends for an invite, Gmail-style. It has grown tremendously in the past 6 months and an invite is no longer as elusive as it initially was. Joining Ello is as simple as entering your email address. A fellow user will “invite” you. Subsequently, you will have almost instant access to the platform.

Ello has just announced the second version of the platform, as well as a brand-new mobile app. Ello’s V2 will include features like full-screen browsing, drag and drop editing, emojis and much more. Many argue that this is Ello’s attempt to avoid the social media cemetery or the Google+ fate of the forgotten, and their app launch might just accomplish this.


The ad-free network will pose a potentially moderate threat to monopolizing social media moguls Instagram and Tumbr. Why? Ello is ad-free. It is the “indie” social network. There is no “sponsored” content, ad-pushing, marketing-tailored posting and no corporate bank accounts to back these invasive aims. The website itself is minimal, making browsing a pleasant experience without overstimulating or overwhelming. The best part is, you can see how many times an image was viewed. You know this simple element has marketing specialists losing their minds, pacing offices, thinking how do we get a piece of this action or hoping: it won’t succeed.

“We’re not geo-locating; we’re stripping IP addresses.” – Ello co-founder, Paul Budnitz

Because it began in the height of the post-humanistic tradition of internet memes, the network itself has acquired a massive following of loyal users. Upon signing up, Ello reminds you that “You are not a product.” And it is certainly reassuring, but just how trusting can we be that this media platform won’t sell its soul to Facebook in 5 years or that businesses won’t eat up our feeds?

What are Ello’s chances in the ring against Instagram/Tumblr/Twitter/Snapchat/Pinterest?

Sound off below.


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