michel - personal website

Good-bye Ello

On last September 27th I published a post about Ello, the privacy-friendly ad-free ‘anti-Facebook’ network after signing up to the service. I feel concerned about privacy issues, so I don't have any Facebook account. I felt happy with the success that Ello seemed to have, since we already saw lots of so-called "Facebook-killer" social networks who never killed anything.

A Facebook-killer social network?

As a matter of fact, the problem is not to "kill" Facebook, since lot of people have fun with it and it's great. It's just not for me, because even in exchange of free use, selling my profile to advertisers is not fair. So the aim of Ello was to stay advertising-free and to protect the users' privacy. The idea is good on paper, no doubt. But will it work in real life?

The question is, advertisers are the king of the web. Why? Because with them, everything "seems" to be free for users. The problem for a social network like Ello, is that servers and support staff are not free and will never be. A website with millions of users is not free to run, so Ello need funds but not from advertisers. So from who?

In last March, Paul Budnitz founder of Ello has taken US$ 435,000 in seed funding from FreshTracks Capital, a Vermont-based financial firm. The question is, when you take funds from a venture-capital firm, the investors want a return. At a certain moment, the venture-capital funded startup's founders are going to go away with a large amount of money and the venture-capital firm will take away the business.

Be sure that at a certain moment, Ello will follow some tracks because the founders won't be there any more (it's called an exit plan) and the investors will push Ello towards profitability. It is incompatible with the goals Ello pretended to have. So there's a great probability that Ello goes to a business model people won't follow. Especially people concerned with privacy issues.

I'm leaving Ello now because in exchange for a free online service, one day Ello will probably share users' personal informations. Just like Facebook do. On the other hand, there is a new social media named Seen.is that claims to be for people experiencing censorship from Facebook. People who like alternative news love it, so give a try!

I feel great to blog today, hope you'll enjoy the post and maybe leave Ello just I did. Feel free to chat with me about this post and do not hesitate to comment below.

Last update: January 23th, 2015. That's all.

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