Say Ello to a new ‘beautiful, simple and ad-free’ social network

It’s early days, but thousands of web users are lining up to join new invite-only social network Ello, which is already being dubbed the ‘anti-Facebook’ by some. Here’s what it’s all about…

A new social network is notching up thousands of new members as its doors are flung open to the public for the first time.

Ello, which you still need to be invited to, is currently receiving more than 30,000 requests for membership per hour, according to BBC News.

Although originally designed to just be used by friends of founder Paul Budnitz, a bike shop owner from the US state of Vermont, it was opened to the public on 7 August.

The site's sparse, white appearance, which Ello describes as "beautiful, simple and ad-free", has led commentators to label it the 'anti-Facebook'.

Budnitz told BBC News he was "flattered" by the description, but stressed that he does not see Ello as being a rival to existing social media.

"We don't consider Facebook to be a competitor. We see it as an ad platform and we're a network [meow!]. It's in [the beta phase of testing], and it's buggy and it does weird stuff. And it's all being fixed as quickly as we can," he added.

Unlike Facebook and other social networks, Ello will not generate income from advertising or selling users' data to third-party organisations. Instead, it'll eventually make money from allowing its users to upgrade to a more complete version of the site.

"Like the App Store, we're going to sell features for a few dollars," explained Budnitz.

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