Remember Ello? If you’re not in the upper most level of techies and socially connected individuals, chances are you haven’t even heard of Ello before, much less had a chance to forget who they are. That said, for those of you who haven’t heard of it, Ello is a Facebook competitor of sorts. It originally launched back in 2014 with a very minimal but modern feeling website. Like most new social networks that come and go these days, it did a lot of stuff right in the sense of fixing a lot of small things we can’t stand about some of the big sites, namely Facebook in this case. But alas, merely improving upon an aging giant won’t do much. You have to win people over to your network. And it’s a vicious chicken or the egg type of ordeal. You need a lot of people to make it worthwhile, and most people won’t move over until a lot of their friends/family are on it. It also didn’t help that Ello launched in 2014 with 0 mobile support. And, no. A mobile friendly web page doesn’t cut it.
Today, however, that changes. Ello has officially launched an iPhone app into the App Store.
The app follows the main website’s design aesthetic – simple, stark and monochrome. The main navigation for the app has 5 tabs: Discover, Notifications, timeline (split by “Friends” and “Noise”), profile (yours), and finally, a tab just for posting to your own timeline all by itself. Other than that, it’s what one would expect from a social networking app as far as basic features go.
Now, it’s important to note that Ello is taking a different approach to social network than Facebook. For Facebook, their big money opportunity is in ads. In order to deliver better ads they need data – your data. Ello has (since day 1) pushed their more secure, non-data mining outlook. Much the same, the new mobile app follows this route by encrypting email addresses and phone numbers so that search results still return valuable results but Ello itself can’t parse the actual data. The other big perk: Ello is ad-free. If you’re wondering how Ello eventually plans to make money, Ello’s CEO Paul Budnitz says that an e-commerce/store front model is coming in the future to allow people to sell directly to end users through the service.
Not on iOS? Ello says Android and even Windows Phone apps are slated for release later this summer. Ello certainly has a gigantic uphill climb to make. And while more non-techies (read: the moms, dads, grandmas etc.) of the world won’t migrate to Ello anytime soon, the increasing socially/tech minded millennials certainly could, for at the very least, Facebook has grown old, slow, and annoying on many fronts.
Ello is fresh and new. If you haven’t made the jump yet, do so and let us know what you think.
- Download: Ello for iOS (App Store link)