optimizedSome weeks back a new social network leapt onto the scene: Ello.

I did what I always do in these situations. I went over and grabbed my user name (I like it to be the same everywhere) and had a look around. Much like when Google+ launched to far more fanfare, it was…quiet. Nobody could quite figure out what to say or do. The search wasn’t working, so finding friends was difficult.

But I was intrigued, primarily because Ello’s shtick seems to be that they are not now accepting nor will they ever accept advertising.

I’ve been spending less time on Twitter lately precisely because of the deluge of adtweets, and so this is appealing to me. Ello says they will, at some point, charge for premium features. I’m not sure how that’s going to work out for them, but again, I’m curious to see.

Many folks in tech media especially have been skeptical about whether Ello will be able to stick with their no-advertising plan. Last night, Ello sent out a letter explaining that they’re so serious about doing just that, that they’ve converted themselves to a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC).

From the letter:

A PBC is a special for-profit company in the USA that operates to produce a benefit for society as a whole. As a PBC, Ello is legally obligated to take its impact on society into account in every decision it makes.

Ello’s PBC’s charter states that Ello shall not for pecuniary gain:

  1. Sell user-specific data to a third party;
  2. Enter into an agreement to display paid advertising on behalf of a third party; and
  3. In the event of an acquisition or asset transfer, the Company shall require any acquiring entity to adopt these requirements with respect to the operation of Ello or its assets.

In other words, Ello exists for your benefit, not just to make money.


Sounds pretty good, right?

Ello still has (a lot of) kinks to work out, and it’s still pretty quiet over there, but at the very least, I’d recommend registering. It’s in beta, so you’ll need an invitation to do so…if you need one, drop a comment here or send me an email and I’ll hook you up.