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Another month, another new kid on the block. Over the past few days, you may have noticed your Facebook feed filling up with desperate pleas for an invitation to the newest social-media network, Ello – which is quickly becoming the hottest ticket on the net.

With a name like Ello you could be forgiven for thinking it’s the brain-child of a cockney-born whizz-kid, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Originally intended as a private network for artists and designers to share their work, the site was created last year by American bike shop owner, Paul Budnitz.

Dubbed the ‘anti-Facebook’, Ello is a combination of well-established social media platforms, minus the ads that are now commonplace on many sites. Aiming to capitalise on the discontent surrounding privacy settings on sites such as Facebook and Twitter, Paul vows to forgo advertising and promises not to sell users’ personal data to third parties. But is this claim realistic?

In my opinion, the success of the well-known social media networks is due to the fact that they are easily accessible and – most importantly – free. These sites rely heavily on generating capital by exploiting users and selling their information to businesses for advertising purposes. By selling this data, it allows businesses to target relevant people with their content, making their adverts much more effective.

In place of advertising, Ello aims to generate revenue by offering users the chance to purchase add-ons for a one-off fee. As the interface of the network is currently very simple, these optional features and functionalities will definitely be necessary for users to get the most out of the network.

Since its public launch on 7 August, the site has gained some serious momentum, receiving up to 31,000 requests an hour in the last few days from people eager to join. However, this sudden burst of popularity has raised questions as to whether the platform will be able to sustain the site financially.

At the moment Facebook need not worry – the thousands of people desperately seeking an invite to Ello won’t make a dent in its billions of users. That said, do savvy businesses need to think about moving their advertising elsewhere?

Check it out and let us know what you think!



@peppertweets, @catgregs