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Ello there: reviewing a sh*t social network

Ello logo

Ello is a social network created in March 2014. Unlike platforms like Facebook and Twitter, Ello’s USP lies with its ad free policy, and strong stand against exploiting user data to generate revenue. Given the regularity with which hacking scandals now appear in the news, this is certainly an attractive proposition.

An invites-only club, Ello clearly aimed at targeting the technologically savvy and influencers within the digital industry, undoubtedly in the hope to become somewhat of a cool, trendy novelty. Here’s why it’s failing miserably..

Not user-friendly

Picture of Ello news feed
Ello’s blank design

First of all, it has to be said that Ello is an incredible poorly made website. Completely blank of any sort of design, the site looks like a 2.2 university student’s unfinished final year project.

In addition, Ello is full of bugs, and it takes ages to even figure out how to post pictures or text content. Whereas major platforms have obvious action buttons like sending a tweet or updating a status, Ello’s way too cool to take you through how it should be used, so you’ll have to work this one out on your own. One of the least user-friendly sites ever.

Not original

Ello sits somewhere between Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. While it looks a bit like Facebook and has a feed to follow your friend’s latest updates, Ello’s all about sharing content for people to like and comment on, in an Insta kind of way.

You can also view who people are following and followed by. That’s really good actually, I wonder why no one’s ever thought about it. Oh wait..

All in all, there’s little new about Ello, other than its invite-only features which projects the misleading illusion that it’s a premium service. The only original thing about it is the phrase ‘making noise’, which it coined to describe people posting. Problem is, no one’s really making any..

Antisocial network

As of January 2015, Facebook has an estimated 1.3 billion monthly active users, which is significantly more than Instagram (300m) and Twitter (284m). Oh and apparently Google+ has 350m active users too, but we won’t go into the search engine’s definition of ‘active’.

Facebook notifications
Facebook has over 1.3 billion users, to Ello’s 1 million

Ello has just over 1 million users. Social media is a way to interact with your friends, family (whether or not you want them there) and meet new faces. The main issue with Ello is that it’s the most antisocial network out there at the minute. What’s the point of sharing pictures of my dinner if no one’s going to be able to see them?


Why and how Ello came about is understandable. As our everyday lives are increasingly spent online, we leave more and more footprints and sensitive information in the hands on social networks. Ello offers an alternative to this.

Besides let’s be honest, people love to hate the powerful and successful, and that Facebook certainly is. Except we don’t hate Facebook really, do we? And those of us who do simply don’t resent it enough to justify moving on to an awful, boring and user unfriendly network like Ello.

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