Are you a huge fan of social networks, but over the years, you have realized that one giant stood out amongst the sea of competitors, and that would be Facebook? So much for Friendster or MySpace, or if you were to turn the clock back even more, how about e-Circles? Having said that, here is a possible competitor to Facebook known as Ello. Ello happens to sport a new and clean design, where it is touted to be “ad-free and porn friendly” as well. Apart from that, it currently remains as a beta version of a social network. Having first been founded in March by Paul Budnitz alongside a bunch of like-minded people, Ello got off the blocks as a private social network.
When we broke the news of Ello’s impending launch last March, we worried it might be destined for obscurity, like the thousand other failed, would-be Facebook competitors. But the mysterious social network and anti-Facebook hideaway has suddenly exploded in popularity as Facebook has begun driving away artists, performers and the LGBTQ community. When they started their roll-out in July, Ello got a few sign-ups from the mailing list generated from word-of-mouth buzz. Each day after, they grew twice as large, which ramped up to three times as large each day. Then, after The Daily Dot declared yesterday that “the great gay Facebook exodus” had begun, interest in Ello went nuclear. Ello’s founder told Betabeat that he’s seeing 4000 new signups each hour. People are frantically tweeting each other about Ello, and traffic on our Ello stories from six months back has exploded. So what is Ello? Ello is an anachronistic social network designed by Paul Budnitz, designer toy maker, bike builder and author extraordinaire. It’s a social network with a manifesto — a grandiose cry for social networking that empowers people, and against social networks that lie, manipulate you and treat you like a product.