Ello

Mark Zuckerberg: Ello Will Fail, Can’t ‘Connect the World’ Without Being Free

Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 12.02.17 PM

Ever since Ello blew up, people have called it the “Anti-Facebook” in order to best describe what it was, and Ello’s founders were happy to distance themselves from Facebook’s values. Finally, the great social media machine itself has turned toward Ello and issued its response.

In their latest gushing profile of Mark Zuckerberg this week, Time examined Facebook’s international strategy to bring the developing world online and link them into Facebook’s digital empire. Turns out, the subject of Ello is, according to Time, the only subject that causes Zuckerberg to lose his cool. From the profile: Read More

Ello

Ello Now Has a Booming Finance Community

Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 11.18.46 AM

Early last month, finance reporter Joseph Weisenthal was poached from Business Insider by Bloomberg to build an entirely fresh news property and host an upcoming show on Bloomberg TV. Between jobs, he was without a place to publish, which we imagine was borderline torture for someone with a world-eating appetite for news.

So on November 6, when he had something to say about an earnings announcement from King Digital, he put it out to the world in a place where no finance wonk had ever stepped foot: Ello.

It was a moment of fascination, humor and utter confusion for Media Twitter that morning, but that post, and the many that followed, became the catalyst that pulled in attention from the finance community and bloggers—an anachronistic crowd, given that Ello was built mostly as a virtual gallery space for visual designers. Finance Ello was born.

As a Nieman Lab report this morning pointed out: Read More

Ello

This Is Ello’s New Charter and What It Means

Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 12.30.57 PM

This morning, Ello officially closed a deal for $5.5 million in venture capital funding. Normally, this would be alarming — VC money typically indicates an exit strategy, which for social networks usually means ad-mongering and selling user data to the highest bidder. But Ello’s found a way to permanently head those complaints off at the pass.

Right before they received their investment, Ello wrote up a charter that basically reframed their infamous manifesto, only in more clear, specific language. In it, they say that there are three things they will never do: sell their user’s data, run ads on their site, or sell Ello to anyone who would compel them to do either of those things. The charter says: Read More

Ello

Ello Takes $5.5 Million in VC Money, Signs a Legally-Binding Charter to Never Sell Ads or Data

Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 9.16.47 AM

Update: We’ve written a guide to Ello’s new charter, and exactly what a “public benefit corporation” is.

Since the explosive popularity of Ello, the virtuous “Anti-Facebook” social network, they’ve taken in over one million new users, with three million more on the waiting list. The Ello team has spent the past month racing to finish their beta testing phase even as thousands of new requests to join come in every hour. Now, they finally have a little support.

Only a month after they became one of the fastest growing social networks in history, Ello has closed a Series A round of venture capital funding to the tune of $5.5 million dollars. Considering Ello’s sudden explosion, the investment will give them the cash they need to hire more developers and keep racing toward finishing their private beta. Read More

Ello

Ello Finally Rolls Out Privacy Features, Races To Finish Beta and Secure the Site

Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 12.50.32 PM

The past week has been a gauntlet for the team behind Ello, the elegant Anti-Facebook, as the seven founders to hold tight to the reins of what is likely the fastest growing social network in history. Perhaps the biggest upset around Ello, besides cynical griping about their business model or manifesto, is the fact that even as Ello explodes in popularity, it’s still in beta — a totally unfinished product.

As of today, Ello has checked off the first couple of boxes on their most-wanted features list — the first updates to the site since their sudden acceleration. Since shoring up user privacy is Ello’s new top priority for building out new features, today’s additions are “blocking” and “muting,” both triggered by a little icon next to a user’s Friend/Noise buttons. Read More

Facebook

Facebook’s ‘Apology’ To The Transgender Community Is Full of Half-Truths

Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 12.35.47 PM

For weeks, the LGBTQ community has been fighting Facebook over its stringent policy that says users have to identify publicly by their “real names,” a conflict which reached a boiling point when hundreds of thousands of people fled en masse for Ello, a network that isn’t even in open beta yet. Yesterday, Facebook finally responded in a way that repaired its public image without actually changing a damn thing.

In a public post, Facebook CPO Chris Cox issued an apology to the drag performers and LGBTQ community who, in the “two weeks since the real-name policy issues surfaced” (it’s been three) have been fighting loudly under the banner of #MyNameIs to get Facebook to reconsider their policy. Read More

Ello

Why Brands Making Ello Profiles Doesn’t Ruin Everything, Destroy Ello

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 6.18.38 PM

Social network newcomer Ello has been going nuclear among people looking for a social network that helps them escape advertising and its evils. And because brands will do everything in their power to sell shit, Ello already has profiles for Netflix, Sonos and news orgs like the Wall Street Journal, the Independent, Engadget, and the Guardian.

This bring a certain confusion for people who aren’t thinking very deeply. That train of thought goes like this: Ello doesn’t sell out to brands, but brands are allowed to be on Ello? Doesn’t that go against their manifesto? Wait, Ello founder Paul Budnitz has one to promote his bicycle company? Hypocrite!

Yes, having marketers aboard ruins everything. Hell, the reason people have flocked to Ello in the first place is escape the social network titans who are alienating every user they can for the sake of advertisers. But there’s a clear divide between Ello simply letting brands make a profile, and re-engineering their site and business model to cater to advertisers, a la Facebook. Read More

Ello

Ello Cofounder: ‘We Have NO Exit Strategy’

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 2.36.16 PM

It’s been about 48 hours since interest in Ello flew off the damn charts, and the number of think pieces about its inevitable downfall is … well, expectedly enormous. Outside of the Medium.com designer circle-jerk about how unintuitive the interface is or complaints that a product in beta testings feels incomplete, most of the focus has been on Ello’s promise that they’ll never sell user data or put ads on the site. Mainly the claim is they’re either lying or just wrong, with headlines like “Ello Says You’re Not a Product, But You Are.”

The first piece of the why-Ello-is-doomed puzzle is their proposed freemium model, which many think just plainly won’t work. Instead of selling ads, data or putting up a paywall, Ello will eventually offer on-site purchases like multi-user logins, layout adjustments, or new ways of organizing your follows beyond Ello’s current Friends/Noise system. Read More

Ello

Ello Founder Says VC Funding Is No Big Secret: ‘That’s Silly’

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 6.05.16 PM

Update #1: For anyone wondering when Ello will sell out, Todd Berger has gone on record with Betabeat saying that they “have NO exit strategy.”

Update #2: Brands are showing up like crazy to make profiles on Ello. Will it ruin everything Ello stands for? Nah.

The explosive new social network Ello bills itself as a safe haven for the cast aways, the artists, the anonymous — a new kind of community built around freedom of expression and lack of advertising. A social network with a manifesto that not even Valleywag can manage to be cynical about. But among many concerns about whether or not Ello can fulfills its promise is a sudden uproar about their funding.

On Ello itself, tech blogger Andy Baio wrote a post bringing to light the $435,000 seed investment from FreshTracks Capital, a Vermont-based VC firm. The post exploded in popularity, collecting over 13,000 views in its first hour as it was furiously tweeted with cries of betrayal. Read More