’Ello, Facebook! Sincerely, Your New Ad-Free Competitor
New, ad-free Facebook competitor Ello is seemingly being greeted with skepticism by marketing insiders, mainly because Google+ couldn't usurp Facebook, niche sites didn't displace it and users' privacy concerns aren't stopping "1.32 billion monthly active users as of June 30, 2014" from networking there.
"We built Ello because virtually all the other social networks were cluttered, ugly and full of ads," reads the "Why Ello?" portion of the FAQ.
Ironically, the lack of marketing surrounding Ello may be one of the reasons the social network won't fly, says Ken Wisnefski, CEO of Mount Laurel, N.J.-based Web marketing services provider WebiMax.
"People looking to share content in Ello will have to troll Facebook to find it, go back to Ello and share it," he says on Friday. "It won't be long before they realize they could have just stayed on Facebook."
Wisnefski says it's the same problem that doomed initially hot, invite-only Google+ to becoming "a boring, lonely place."
Why Ello may not displace Facebook:
1. Web Users Are on Facebook. As Wisnefski points out, Facebook users already have profiles, friends and are actively sharing content on the network.
"What makes a social media network 'social' is the amount of people on them sharing content, pictures and stories," he says. "And everybody is on Facebook sharing that great content."
But remember, plenty of Web users once loved MySpace and Friendster, back in the day. I looked at the profile of one of my more popular friends, who has a nearly 1,500-person network. He posted on Friday night that he would migrate over to Ello and, 24 hours later, he had 14 followers.
"The most important thing to me about social media is just being where everyone else is," writes Lily Hay Newman on Friday for Slate in "Trendy Social Network Ello Doesn't Seem That Great, but I'll Use It if Everyone Else Does."
2. Marketers Plan to Join Ello, Anyway. Is there really any doubt? Also, Marketing Land says so. "There's no harm in—or, as far as we know, restriction against—creating an Ello business page," writes Marketing Land's Martin Beck on Sept. 25.
But beware, marketers, Ello has "Friends" and "Noise" feeds, writes Luis Antezana on Saturday on LinkedIn Pulse.
3. "Ello Is Not Mobile-Ready," writes Claire Potter in a Sept. 25 blog post on the Chronicle of Higher Education's website. Load-time is slow and images upload sideways and upside-down, she writes.
This could be significant, as Facebook says more than 1 billion of its 1.3 billion monthly active users are on mobile.
Potter, though, lists far more positives than negatives about the new network—ranking the possibility for anonymity among the highest. "Ello does not have a so-called 'real-name' policy, which is how they became the go-to platform," she writes.
4. Some Consumers Actually Like Communicating With Brands on Social Networks. "Study: Facebook Fans Who Interact With the Brand Page Make for Higher-Paying Consumers," writes InsideFacebook on Sept. 25.
Will Ello Usurp Facebook?
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