I am undeniably obsessed with all things social media. The amount of time I spend on my Samsung Note 3 and PC each day would shock and/or disgust most, so when I heard of Ello I was desperate to get my own account and thus be in on the ‘hype’.
Dubbed the “anti-Facebook”, Ello is a “simple, beautiful and ad-free social network” that came to my attention during Autumn 2014 (becoming public in August 2014). It doesn’t have advertisements and it won’t utilise and profit off your data (although its revenue has come under speculation with its popularity boom).
To create an account, you must be invited. It is an exclusive affair and a tedious wait for an invitation (it is still in the beta stage) as I know too well having only just accessed my account.
I am going to be honest, I signed up earlier today and was rather baffled by the website at first, can something be so simple it is impossible to navigate? Thankfully no.
I eventually got the hang of things although it did take me a good 5 minutes to figure out how to upload my profile picture. I cannot even blame the mediocre internet connection for this one, it was a simple drag from my documents and drop into place affair.
Saying this, I genuinely had to watch the tutorial (which sounds as if Stephen Hawking narrated it himself) beforehand and this has never happened to me on any other social networking site before. Ello is not as user-friendly as its veteran competitors.
“Next, pick a profile image, make it a hot one” had me giggling to no avail as I customised my header to a lovely floral print with ease (drag and drop again, it does come in handy).
Ello is very minimalist in design and features (like Marmite, you will either love this about the website or loathe it), customisation isn’t a strong point.
I soon got into the swing of things and began to add people with similar interests to me. On Ello you have your ‘Friends’ and ‘Noise’ steam alongside your notifications (lightning bolt icon) upon the left-hand side of the webpage.The ‘Friends’ stream holds your contacts feeds (recommended, related, random and search) and the ‘Noise’ stream allows you to select the posts you wish to see from your chosen people in an easy and accessible feed.
Anything that catches your eye along the way while browsing Ello can be shared to your own page easily, they have also recently enabled users to add music and videos to their feeds. The website seems to have elements of Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook in a wonderful social networking combination.
You have your personally decorated feed like Tumblr. Like Twitter, you seek people out who you do not know but who hold similar interests to your own and unlike Facebook you can avoid the hundreds of friend and family requests (exclusivity and a degree of anonymity have their strong points).
Ello proves to be a lot of fun once you begin to understand it. I plan to continue getting used to it and update it with anything that takes my fancy.
If you would like me to invite you to Ello then let me know via firstname.lastname@example.org or via my Twitter @Stephmulz!
Whoever said plain meant boring eh?
What do you think of Ello? Profound or just plain?