Tired of reading through your Facebook, Google+, Tumblr and Twitter feeds and seeing ads related to what you and your friends are posting? Well, it may be time to say ‘ello to Ello. The new social media network is making waves for its stance on privacy issues, shunning advertising in an effort to retain its users privacy. Ello, a Web site created by California-based artist Paul Budnitz, is basing its service strictly on the idea that no advertisers will be allowed on the site. Budnitz feels that making the social media site’s security the number one priority will make the site a hit among its users. The site’s home page reads:
“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. We believe in audacity. We believe in beauty, simplicity and transparency. We believe that the people who make things and the people who use them should be in partnership.
We 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.
Perhaps the most popular social networking site to take such a stance against advertising, WhatsApp, was recently purchased by Facebook for a reported $19 billion. Since the purchase, many have complained that WhatsApp has been flooded with advertising, turning away users who had previously-sworn by the app’s advertising-free experience. Budnitz recently told BetaBeat, “My partners and I had lost interest and were fed up with other social networks — exhausted by ads, clutter, and feeling manipulated and deceived by companies that clearly don’t have our interests at heart. We used Ello privately for about a year and invited around 100 of our artist & designer friends to join.”
This reliance on advertising led to a frustrated Budnitz to proclaim, “Facebook, Google+, Tumblr, etc. aren’t really social networks — they’re advertising platforms. They exist to sell ads. That’s it.”