Ello Puts Privacy First But At A Cost

Lots of hoo hah around at the moment about privacy on social networks and Facebook in particular, which recently responded to long standing privacy concerns by introducing a privacy check-up.

ello social networkWell now there’s a new social network on the block which claims to put your privacy first. It’s called Ello and you can check out their manifesto here.

You are not a product… so it says…

There are no ads and they won’t sell your personal information, your privacy is first and foremost. *

Dubbed the anti-facebook network, Ello was started by founder Paul Budnitz for his own circle of friends but was opened up on the 7th August. It is now receiving 31,000 requests EACH HOUR from people who wish to sign-up!

But at the moment it’s beta only and invite only so requesting to join is all you can do for now. Well you can visit the site and view a few of the active profiles and get a feel for the thing.

So, what’s the catch? I guess you’re hoping we’re going to say there isn’t one…but there is…

At the moment Ello is completely free to use (if your invite request is accepted). But:-

“Very soon we will begin offering special features to our users. If we create a special feature that you like, you can choose to pay a very small amount of money to add it to your Ello account forever.”

A bit like some apps then, they are going to have micro-payments. Not the usual model to start a new social network for sure but one that we are all now familiar with.

Will it work? 31,000 requests per hour would certainly suggest it might but just how keen all of those people will be to pay, even a small amount, for their privacy (and no ads) remains to be seen.

We’ve got our invite requests in and we’ll be keeping an eye on developments.

* Update: a more detailed reading of their Privacy Policy under ‘Information Sharing’ reveals this little sentence:-

“Ello does not have any affiliated companies right now. But if we do in the future, we may share information with them, too.”

So, is it only a matter of time to start selling personal data to third parties?…

Updated: February 24, 2015 by PrivacyPulp

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