Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is being challenged by a new competitor Ello, a social media network called the Anti-Facebook network because of its policy of not carrying advertisements or selling user data. Founder Paul Bunditz told BBC that Ello is receiving up to 31,000 requests an hour from people interested joining the platform.
Ello’s no ad policy
This site was founded with just around 90 friends of the founder on August 7. According to Bunditz, who is a bike shop owner in Vermont, unlike Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Ello is determined not to compromise with user data, but some experts feel that the new website will find it difficult to monetize in the future given its plans to charge micro-payments for certain “features.”
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As of now, the site does not seem very easy to operate at first glance compared to Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and other social networks.
Ello is becoming highly popular at a very early stage as invitations for the website are selling on eBay for $500, with reports of a viral increase in requests over the past week, says a report from Yahoo. It is clear that Ello is trying to capitalize on the frustration of Facebook users, who are annoyed with the largest social networking site selling ads as well as personal data to third parties.
Can Ello compete with Facebook?
The manifesto of Ello makes it clear that they “believe a social network can be a tool for empowerment. Not a tool to deceive, coerce, and manipulate — but a place to connect, create, and celebrate life. You are not a product.” Ello also slams Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) when it states in its policy that collecting and selling personal data and mapping social connections for profit is creepy and unethical. The policy also said that under the semblance of a ‘free’ service, users are paying a high price in terms of intrusive advertising and lack of privacy.
For Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), the growing popularity of Ello may not be a good news, especially now as the social networking site is embroiled number of controversies. Facebook has apologized after conducting academic research on users without informing them. In the research, the company manipulated the timelines of the users without their consent.
The power of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is known to the world, and it will be a mammoth task to become significant competition to a website that has one-third of the world as its user base.