Imagine a social network without intrusive ads, forced tracking or auto organization of your news feed. It’s not a dream anymore, it’s Ello. The new social network claims to be the anti-Facebook and the minimalist approach keeps the site clean with users’ posts remaining front and center. After a few minutes on the site, you’ll discover Ello seems like the result of Tumblr meshing with Twitter.
The entire purpose of Ello is to provide a true social experience without constantly worrying about your every post, like, comment and profile data being sold to advertisers. The founders believe people aren’t products and shouldn’t be treated as such. While Google Analytics is used, you’re able to opt out. This is the only type of tracking you’ll find. There are no ads, no suggested products, no game invitations or any of the fluff you see on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and others. The site’s manifesto alone makes the site seem warm and inviting.
Currently, Ello has a basic feature set. If you’re looking for innovative new features, you won’t find them here. If you just want a network with the essentials, you might just love having a simpler set of features. The site has a list of current, newly added and upcoming features. The current set includes features such as:
- Email notifications
- Simple commenting
- Post editing
- Enhanced user discovery
- Emoji integration
- Invitation system
- Add and edit images
- Profile privacy controls
In the future, Ello plans to add features such as:
- Reposting (similar to Tumblr)
- Mobile apps
- Love bookmarking
- Audio/video integration
- Auto push to other social networks
While simple, the site really does have everything you need to connect with other users, post updates and comment on posts.
At the time of writing, Ello is an invitation only network. Every new member is allowed to invite 25 new members. The site is currently in beta with a small staff. They’re limiting how many people join at a time to ensure the site can handle the activity. However, getting an invitation isn’t that hard. Start by visiting Ello’s homepage. Enter your email address at the top of the screen and click Request Invitation.
Wait for your confirmation email and confirm your email once you receive it. You’ll then be notified as soon as Ello has more invitations available.
You can also ask for an invitation from your friends on social networks. It’s possible one of them may already be a member and have invitations remaining. Currently, there isn’t a set wait period. Invitations are sent in small batches in the order in which they are requested.
While you’re waiting for your invitation, check out some of the public profiles to get an idea of how Ello looks in action. Click any profile image on Ello’s main page to view someone’s profile.
Many users with public profiles are posting more images than text. With simple white backgrounds, most profile pages look much like a toned down Tumblr blog. The Twitter element comes into play with usernames and mentions. You’ll notice all users have an @username and you use the tag to mention other users in your posts and comments.
While Ello might not be for everybody, it’s ideal for those who just want to socialize without any extras. If you want to escape the clutter, give the site a try. You have nothing to lose and setting up a profile only takes a few minutes.