Everyone has at least one friend who has deleted their Facebook for whatever reasons. People attempt to delete their Facebook accounts because they fear lack of privacy, have spent less time seeing friends and more time reading about their friends, or they just can not risk the time investment of cultivating their profile or scrolling through their endless newsfeed. Ello, a new social networking site, was designed for for individuals weary of Facebook’s “privacy” policy.
When a person signs on to facebook and uploads photos, makes posts, or likes anything, Facebook turns these life events into data. Companies line up to buy people’s data so they can better advertise to you through facebook, as well as many other websites you visit through Facebook. The social networking king has made all of their revenue by using their user’s information. Each Facebook news feed has a myriad of advertisement that is targeting that user.
This money making model is not only problematic because it creates a culture where many unknowing users are being used to make multi-million dollar profits, it also creates a space where the product is not about the users, but about the other multi-million dollar companies buying advertising space, selling games, and other products on the site. Nevenue for the company comes mostly from large companies, but users also have participated. Users can buy gifts through the site to send their friends. This is done through the site’s message system, or popular social games like Candy Crush, or The Simpson’s Tapped Out. The users only function on these big name social networking sites like Twitter, and Facebook is for data collection and filling profits.
Facebook has recently announced that they have come into a period of “free cash flow.” This means that the company is beginning to make a profit on it’s own. The company is beginning to pay investors back and start making a climb in the stock market. At this point it is more important than ever for Facebook users to think about what they are getting from Facebook. The new social networking site, offers those who are weary of Facebook relief from worrying about their information being shared through the site.
Ello will include a user conscious design that does not include a single advertisement. Users can feel comforted by the fact that the site does not need to sell their likes and dislikes to companies to make money. Instead, the new social network will offer a free base profile, and add-ons can be purchased later.
The website for Ello is invite only at the time, but potential users can request an invitation if they visit the site. The page that comes up shrouds mystery about this network. There are three pages: one to request an invitation, the site’s manifesto, and an introduction to the creative team behind the site. One design aspect that stands out is in the introduction page. The faces of the team are each covered by black smiley faces with no eyes. This further drives their intense dedication to internet anonymity. They claim that the site will offer all of the necessary functions of a social networking site in a cleaner, more efficient, and more user friendly way.
Facebook’s new competitor may be mysterious, but it also may be a great alternative for people who fear their information getting into the hands of a greedy third party. Those weary of Facebook may just find relief with Ello, a social networking site designed only for it’s users.
By Joshua Shane