Alright I admit it, I was clambering for an invitation to join Ello, the hot new public social network. I think the fact that it was invitation only made me want it really badly … a bit like a ticket only party at a club you never really liked but suddenly want to attend. All the cool people were on it and I wanted to join them.
Well, last week I finally managed to get myself an invitation and my social networking lust sort of turned into disappointment. I played with it for a week but unfortunately here’s why Ello isn’t doing it for me.
I’m concerned about Privacy
Yes we all know Facebook adverts can be annoying (as a Social Media Manager I of course love them.) That said, we know how Facebook is funding its existence… through advertising. Ello promises no advertising and an uncluttered network which begs the question… who is paying for it? Well, as a public network, there are no privacy controls as yet on Ello and any data you share including quizzes and polls such as Buzzfeed trigger the subsequent tracking of your personal data.
I’m All Alone
Ok so a few of my cool social media friends and disgruntled Facebook users also managed to get themselves on Ello but where is everyone else? Oh yes they are all on Facebook, Twitter and G+. It’s very difficult to enjoy a social network when you don’t have any friends on it and I can’t see the friends I have acquired on the other networks migrating over. This has left me following / interacting with a few random people in San Francisco who also seem a little bit confused as to what they are doing there.
I’m Not Addicted
There is a certain addiction factor about social networking. We love it when people like our photos, comment on our posts and maybe even share them. On Ello there is no way to like comments or easily share updates and finding friends is just way too difficult. I do like the minimalistic design but frankly I’m just too lazy to type everything in and I don’t feel like I’m getting much in return. I am also viewing it through Social Media Manager eyes and I can’t see there is a way to achieve the virality of a successful Facebook or Twitter page to leverage products and services.
I’m Mobile… Ello Isn’t
Ok so the site is still in its early stages but should you launch a social networking site without mobile apps? Facebook did but that was in 2004, we are now 10 years on and everyone is mobile. I tried Ello on my Smartphone and it actually looks ok, probably because there isn’t an awful lot of writing on it! That said I like to have apps on my phone so I can stay social wherever I am.
It’s Nothing New
I usually get a really great feeling about a good new social network but when I analyse it it’s probably because it offers me something that I don’t already have. Twitter let’s me view news in short real time updates, Facebook keeps me connected with friends and family, G+ is where I go to talk tech and media, Pinterest… well I need to pin photos of cats in my spare time… You get the picture so what does Ello offer that I don’t already have?
To be clear I think that the idea behind Ello is a good one and for sure one day a social network will overtake Facebook but for me, as it is, Ello isn’t it. Alternatively perhaps it’s just too cool for me I haven’t decided yet.
What do you think of Ello? Tweet me your thoughts @charli_says