You Say Goodbye (to Facebook), They Say Ello!

There is something very big shaking up the social media industry this morning. It's been brewing for the last 48-72 hours (first showing up in my Facebook newsfeed on Friday) and has the potential to be the biggest social media shake up since Snapchat

It's called Ello and it is the brain child of a group of graphic designers and programmers who wanted a visually cleaner and ad-free social network. As I sit here on September 29th writing this blog post, Wikipedia describes Ello as:

an ad-free social networking service created by Paul Budnitz (founder of Kidrobot), graphic design lab Berger & Föhr, and technology collective Mode Set.[1][2] Launched in March 2014 amid little fanfare, Ello became popular in late September 2014
— Wikipedia, 9/29/2014

Ironically, this new social network that is the biggest threat to Facebook since Instagram (which was subsequently acquired by FB) is actually being spread via Facebook. People are posting their Ello handles (@heatherverde here!) on Facebook and encouraging their FB friends to find them there. And while Facebook's early appeal was that you had to have a Harvard email address to join, Ello's carrot is that you actually have to be invited to join and users can only invite 5 people - giving it that attainable exclusivity vibe that we all find oh so irresistible. 

Screenshot of Ello's landing page to the uninvited. 

Screenshot of Ello's landing page to the uninvited. 

While new and potential users are all a-buzz about this new player in social media, the online news media is absolutely a-flame this morning! A quick Google News search for Ello shows articles posted just this morning by The GuardianBoston Herald, The Washington Post, Mashable, PC World, and more, both to tout the network's success or to prophesize it's demise.

The reasons why this Silicon Valley REALTOR is blogging about a new social media platform may not be immediately apparent, so let me connect the dots. Facebook is headquartered in near-by Menlo Park. They are one of the many big players (Linked In, Google, Apple and a few others round out that list) in the area that keep the local economy humming along and housing in high demand. Ello's builders and designers, on the other hand, are based in Boulder, CO - a burgeoning tech hub that is very attractive to young people and far more affordable. As a matter of fact, Colorado is actively attracting start-ups in an effort to become the next Silicon Valley, or at least a very close runner-up. And that makes this social media tug-of-war story worth following in my book.