Ello, originally launched as a private social network, has opened its doors on an invitation-only basis, targeting Facebook in the process.
The site is being described as the antithesis to Facebook thanks to its stance on privacy and advertising. Its "manifesto" states: "We believe a social network can be a tool for empowerment. Not a tool to deceive, coerce, and manipulate - but a place to connect, create, and celebrate life. You are not a product."
Ello plans to remain "completely free to use,” but the company has stated that it could start offering some premium features for a fee. A completely free experience that doesn’t result to selling user information is certainly an admirable approach, but how practical and profitable can it be?
Currently, users have to be invited to join Ello. This, of course, has made it a service that is very much in-demand. But the trick is to keep users engaged after they gain access. Remember, Google+ required an invite at one point in time too.