Ello is trying to be the little website that could - a social network with its own manifesto that sounds a lot like whatever Facebook is not.
"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."
Bold, certainly. Sure to appeal to idealists, definitely.
More privacy, less ads
Why is Ello now exploding the way it is, with mentions of the social network popping up on Facebook and Twitter? Part of it is Facebook's new drive to use real names, one that rival Google+ gave up on not too long ago.
While it is true that fake Facebook profiles are a commonly used scam technique but for people who have specialised identity needs - celebrities or drag queens, for instance - Facebook's insistence is disheartening. Apparently it's gaining the most traction among the LGBTQ community who are reacting to Facebook's new naming policy.
Ello could also likely appeal to those bothered by Facebook's insidious advertising algorithim that tailors what it shows you by monitoring your likes and how it effectively censors your newsfeed by not showing you all your friends' posts.
As to how it looks, the minimalist approach to Ello's design puts it somewhere between Twitter and Tumblr. A lot less cluttered, assuredly, but also with a minimal featureset.
But for all its bravado, the underlying question is how will Ello sustain itself without any form of advertising? Is the site sustainable? Or will its stripped-down appeal become a bane instead of a boon?