Ello

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

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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

Ello

Ello’s Traffic Deluge Almost Caused a Total New User Freeze-Out, Crisis Averted

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Yesterday, we reported that Ello, the social network with a manifesto, had suddenly gone nuclear and was pulling in 4,000 invite requests per hour. Throughout the day, as word spread that Ello was the new safe haven for people fleeing Facebook’s invasive ads and purge of non-verified users, that number ramped up to over 27,000 and then to 31,000 requests per hour.

When we spoke to Ello founder Paul Buditz late last night, he was getting off a plane and totally exhausted. Ello was facing a crisis — traffic was coming in much faster than anticipated, and the Ello team was getting ready to stop all new invites to their site.

“It seems like we’ve got a big portion of the U.S. and much of Europe all trying to get on Ello at the same time,” Mr. Budnitz told Betabeat, saying that in the morning they’d have to “turn off the spigot for a while.”

But over the course of a few frantic meetings, the tech team has decided that Ello will stay online, soldiering through the storm and letting the hype-machine rage on. Read More

Ello

Ello Will Remain Ad-Free and Porn Friendly, Says Founder

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Update #1: Overwhelmed by the deluge of new users, Ello almost choked off all access for new members, but have gone all-hands-on-deck to keep Ello alive and soldier on through the hype.

Update #2: Brands are showing up like crazy to make profiles on Ello — here’s why it won’t ruin everything.

When we broke the news about Ello, a new social network that claims to be the safe haven from its fiendishly invasive competition, it mostly fell on deaf ears — but the past six months were nothing compared to what’s happened in the past 24 hours.

Since the sudden Facebook exodus to Ello, requests to join went from 4,000 to 27,000+ per hour, Twitter exploded with desperate requests for invites, eBay responded with an enormous black market for invites, and Ello became the fifth hottest trend on Google searches. No big deal. Read More

General Assembly

General Assembly Partners With Tumblr to Teach the Cool Kids to Code

The lessons are incredibly self-explanatory — enough handholding for just about anyone to make it through. (Screengrab via Dash)

Remember back in the day, when you had to jerry-rig your Myspace layout with sloppy HTML in order to stand out from the crowd? Kids these days have it so much easier.

As of this morning, General Assembly (GA) is partnering with Tumblr to offer free lessons in how to build Tumblr themes. Tumblr has always offered its mostly-young userbase themes to customize their layouts, but now Tumblr users can to dig into the actual code that drives those layouts. Read More

Twitter Politics

Bitly CEO Not Surprised Twitter Finally Bought Its Own Tweet-Marketing Group

(via Twitter)

Twitter announced yesterday that it’s acquiring Gnip, a company that analyzes tweets, Facebook likes and Tumblr reblogs for marketers.

It seems like an obvious move. Why should Twitter sit by and let third-party companies profit from its massive content output without getting in on the fun? Still, marketing groups like Gnip have been profiting from social media companies for some time. Twitter is only the most recent in a line of tech startups trying to get in on the action.

Bitly, too, sat on its own database of social behavior data for years before recently making moves to license it. So Bitly CEO Mark Josephson isn’t surprised by the Twitter acquisition. Read More

Linkages

Booting Up: Facebook Is Turning 10 So Get Excited To Hear About That All Day

HYFR $$$. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Facebook is turning 10 years old today in case you didn’t know. Here’s an interview with Zuck. [Today]

Google has been ordered to move its mysterious barge currently creeping in the San Francisco waters because of lack of permits. [Recode]

When the government asked for user data, Tumblr gave it out 76 percent of the time according to a so-called Transparency Report. [CNet]

Now any website or developer can make their website compatible with Google’s Chromecast. [ReadWrite]

Please stop retweeting this fraudulent Esurance account on Twitter because it’s not going to help you win millions the company is giving out. [BI]

Linkages

Booting Up: Tumblr’s Traffic Might Be Declining

eeeeeeesh (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Amazon is denying that it’s developing an “over-the-top” live streaming service for televisions. [The Verge]

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority approved a pilot program last night that requires companies operating employee shuttles (cough Google and Facebook) to obtain permits and pay fees. [Recode]

The Internet is about to have its “big bang.” On Feb. 4, thousands of domain names, like .pizza, will be on sale. [Quartz]

Don’t freak out Marissa with this news, but Tumblr’s traffic is reportedly declining. [Forbes]

Uncarrier T-Mobile is launching Mobile Money, a low-cost bank account for people who are uncomfortable with traditional banks. Interestingly, users can access more than 4,000 ATMs for free. [CNet]