We were discussing ello as a team a bit, passing around invites and musing on how the ad-free, users-as-product-free manifesto could possibly translate into real-world dollar$, a business-model conundrum we ourselves have tangled with in the past. One of the Fathym crew observed that people just don’t seem interested in paying for their privacy. Yet.
We think a lot about privacy. It’s uniquely important to all of us as individuals and of course, as a company. A move like this that appears to go against current start-up and business trends raises questions, such as, have we reached a point of being willing to pay for an ad-free garden of social Eden? What will it take for more people to appreciate the value placed on the data about their personal lives enough to want to take it back? What are the real-world social implications of connectivity that has to be bought in currency other than data? Could there possibly be enough people willing to pay for ad-free social media that would ease the fears that ello won’t or won’t be able to remain true to the values laid out in it’s manifesto?
We’re inspired by ello’s manifesto. It has a strong vision that addresses similar themes to Fathym’s core philosophy: engagement and empowerment, connection and collaboration.
We’ll be watching their space closely.
In March a new social network launched promising the opposite business model to Facebook, i.e. not selling ads based on user data and instead relying on, perhaps, paid premium features to keep going. Ello then sunk without a trace until, in the last 24-48 hours or so, activity on the site completely blew up. And this is a pretty basic social network with the bare minimum of features. Why? A combination of factors.
Perhaps it was Facebook’s trenchant stance against LGBT users having both a real name and ‘persona’ name. Ello got traction with the LGBT community after Facebook disabled the accounts of some drag artists who used their performance names instead of their “real” names. Musicians with stage names have also complained.
Or perhaps it was famous drag queen Ru Paul tweeting about it?
No one quite knows. But as of today, most of your friends will be asking their…
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