Tech

Anti-Facebook Site 'Ello' Gets Boost From LGBTQ Community

Freshly-minted social media site "Ello" is seeing an explosion of new users after a Facebook PR blunder caused an uproar in the LGBTQ community.

Anti-Facebook Site 'Ello' Gets Boost From LGBTQ Community
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For those tired of advertisements clogging your social media feeds, there's a new alternative that a lot of people have been flocking to recently — it's called Ello.

As you can see, the simplistic, bare-boned design of the freshly-minted social media platform looks much different from Facebook and Twitter but operates pretty much the same way: send messages, post pictures, et cetera. And that was intentional, according to its makers. The site is also invite only and doesn't allow advertisements.

The site's manifesto reads, in part: "Your social network is owned by advertisers. Every post you share, every friend you make and every link you follow is tracked, recorded and converted into data. Advertisers buy your data so they can show you more ads. You are the product that's bought and sold. ... We believe there is a better way. ... You are not a product."

Ello launched last spring, and for the most part was essentially another anti-Facebook haven for artists and designers. But recently it's surged in popularity. So, where did this sudden influx of users come from? Well, according to the site BetaBeat, the LGBTQ community plays a big role. 

Facebook received some serious heat from the LGBTQ community recently after it told its users who are drag queens they had to ditch their performing names and use their real names, or lose their Facebook profiles. (Video via KNTV)

And though it had been picking up steam on its own, thousands of new users poured into Ello right after The Daily Dot published this story Monday exalting the beginning of "the great gay Facebook exodus."   

Ello's founder told Betabeat, since that announcement, "He's seeing 4,000 new signups each hour. People are frantically tweeting each other about Ello, and traffic on our Ello stories from six months back has exploded."

Still, a writer for Gizmodo says it's still unclear if Ello will succeed because similar sites have popped up before and didn't really mature past the initial hype. 

"So far it's mirroring the launches of alt social-ish networks like Branch or Potluck. First the buzz, then a rush to join, followed by inevitable abandonment of said new site. ... We've seen this happen dozens of times. Which means, Ello might end up being a niche community for artists or the privacy paranoid, if that.​"