Ello, the social networking service that promised to become an ad-free alternative to Facebook and Twitter, announced that it would roll out a mobile app for IPhones on Thursday. But Android and Windows Phone would have to wait a few more months.
What’s more, Ello also said that it would drop the invite-only policy as the platform currently counts “several million” users, co-founder Paul Budnitz said.
But the numbers may skyrocket with the release of a free mobile app, developers hope. According to several reports, about three-quarters of smartphone users check their social media account at least once a day compared to 64 percent of tablet owners.
But luring Facebook users to the new social media service may encounter some difficulties. For instance, Ello’s graphics are completely different from Facebook or Twitter, and its mobile app follows the exact line. In fact the platform and mobile app was made “by designers for designers”. Its apparent simple look allows high-resolution images to stay in the limelight.
But the icing on the cake is that there are no, I repeat, absolutely no ads on the site. Ello founders’ intention was to make money directly from users without the need of manipulating and sharing troves of confidential data with advertisers.
On their site, Ello team warns other social networks’ users that they are being bought and sold and turned into a product by Facebook and the likes.
“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,”
reads a message on their site.
So how exactly is Ello going to monetize the product? Well, founders plan to enable a feature that lets users sell and buy stuff through their feeds, a feature very similar to Pinterest’s Buy button, which was rolled out early this month.
According to the site, every seller will be able to post a picture of the item they plan to sell and outline it in a box. Buyers will only have to click on the box to buy the product, while the site would take a small fee from every transaction.
On the other hand, Ello didn’t provide more details on the payment methods and security measures against online fraud. Mr. Budnitz said that the commerce feature is unique and his company had already requested a patent for it.
He also disclosed that Ello would focus first and foremost on social interaction and content, but it would refrain from becoming “the next Walmart of social networks.”
Image Source: Financial Post
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