What does Ello mean for content marketers?
Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 3:40PM
Robert N. Yale

Today it was reported that social network startup Ello has received $5.5m in funding from investors. The social network, often called the 'Anti-Facebook' because of its commitment to user privacy and freedom from advertising, launched  in August.

Cementing its commitment to remain ad free, the company recently registered as a Public Benefit Corporation, which prohibits the company (and any future owners) from selling user-specific data to third parties or displaying paid advertising on behalf of a third party. Their raison d'etre is canonized in the manifesto:


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.


Similar to professional networking juggernaut LinkedIn, Ello follows a 'freemium' model where everyone can use the network freely, but must pay for upgraded features and customizability. 

At first glance, the rise of Ello (should it continue) is probably more worrying for the likes of Facebook than for the traditional content marketer. Digital marketing always has been somewhat of a frontier, with seismic shifts possible at any moment (just ask your friends about their MySpace profiles). If Ello can overcome the significant inertia the Facebook has, simply because of its size, and can grow and scale to take on users who want out of the advertising-laden, no-privacy zone of the Social Network of Record, it could supplant Facebook sooner than anyone expects.

Should this take place, content marketers will no doubt find themselves connecting with consumers via Ello rather than Facebook - they just won't be able to advertise for them within the site itself.

Article originally appeared on Robert N. Yale (http://www.robertyale.com/).
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