Viktor Kerney

Calm Down, Ello Is Not A Game-Changer

Filed By Viktor Kerney | October 02, 2014 4:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Media
Tags: competition, Ello, Facebook, social media, social network, Tumblr, Twitter

ello.jpgThe controversy around Facebook's "real name" policy has been an intriguing one to watch. Many within the LGBT community were furious with the mega social network, feeling targeted under the new policy. Some began to wonder if Facebook was a safe space for our community.

Suddenly, a shiny new site, Ello, appears and everyone seems to think it's the better option. But when you look at the new site up close, it's not offering anything new or better. In fact, you may already have these options with Twitter and Tumblr.

When you join Ello, they try to make you feel as if you've just landed in Paradise. The creators describe it as "a simple, beautiful, and ad-free social network created by a small group of artists and designers. We originally built Ello as a private social network. Over time, so many people wanted to join Ello that we built a public version of Ello for everyone to use."

Sounds nice, right? A simple, beautiful space for creative people is appealing, but once you join the site, you realize that it's kind of blah. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, it's not a news feed. Meaning, if you want to participate in a live tweet or want to know the details on SCOTUS' review of the gay marriage cases, it won't happen on Ello. There are a lot of pretty pictures on there, but you can see the same format on Tumblr and Instagram.

Ello taunts that it's ad-free, but that's for now. Like many social media brands, they eventually team up with advertisers and other businesses to push their marketing goals.

Another issue with Ello is that you can't block and flag attacks or inappropriate actions. Right now in Ello, you can't block anyone who is attacking your character, sexual identity, or race. In other words, you are vulnerable on Ello. If the creators really wanted an edge over Facebook, they would've developed a kick-ass zero-tolerance policy to assure folks that they are safe from haters.

The final note is the idea of Ello being super LGBT-friendly. Many in the community are jumping on this bandwagon due to the belief that it's a fierce equality advocate. So far, the only mention of their LGBT street cred is that it's pro-porn. Sorry, but if that's a qualification for being LGBT-friendly, our expectations are not very high.

In all, Ello is nothing to shout about right now. All of its bells and whistles have already been rang and blown. It's not a threat to Facebook by any means, and unless it develops some outstanding accessories or promises free gifts, Ello will become Tumblr-lite... with more porn.

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