Does your brand need to adopt Ello?

Ello has emerged as this year’s hot new social network. It prides itself on its manifesto which states “No advertising… ever” and promises total transparency about your private data, along with a promise to not sell it to anybody. How will they survive? Not sure yet, but there may be plans to charge users for access or some sort of freemium model down the road. There are more than 1 million people on the waiting list and the social network is growing by 50,000+ new users per day.

Betabeat published this great article which is a must-read: “Why Brands Making Ello Profiles Doesn’t Ruin Everything, Destroy Ello”.

So without advertising, does it make sense for brands to join? Will this anti-establishment social network survive? I guess the question to ask yourself is, “Can your brand afford to bet against it?”

Paul Budnitz, cofounder of Ello and Kidrobot

Paul Budnitz, cofounder of Ello and Kidrobot

I had a chance to attend the AdWeek event earlier this week in NYC called “#Trends2015 in technology, advertising, and digital media: Which ones will give you a competitive advantage?”

The moderator was Juliette Powell (@juliettepowell), the Founder and CEO of Turing AI, a company working in data mapping that is currently building the world’s first centralized data exchange.

The panelists were:

  • Jayne Charneski, Trend Forecaster and Consumer Research & Strategy Specialist, @jaynecharneski
  • Phil Wahba, Senior Writer, Fortune Magazine @philwahba
  • Jeremy Wilson, Creative Strategist and Innovation Specialist, Ogilvy Worldwide @byjrw
  • Alexandre Winter, CEO and Founder, Placemeter @awinter

The general consensus was that the Millenial Generation and Generation Z (Ages 14-18) expect radical transparency and don’t want their data exposed to corporations and government. The panelists got me thinking, and while at first I was skeptical of Ello, perhaps that is because I am 38 years old and don’t quite “get it.” Now I am rethinking my position and am giving Ello a chance.

Ello allows for total customization of your personal profile name allowing for more anonymity. However, better filters are being created along with tools to report content which appears to be aiming towards more of a self policing community. With no ads, and no data sharing, this type of social network is extremely attractive to these younger generations. I think that they are scared that their current social networks can be used against them at a later date and the appeal of less intrusion and more perceived anonymity is attractive.

Brands are allowed to join Ello, and Sonos and Netflix were early adopters. There will be no promoted posts or promoted accounts, and people will have to really like your brand before they friend it or dump it into the “noise” category. However, Ello may take off and explode into the mainstream, and early adopters will be rewarded with tens of thousands of friends and followers. Can your brand afford to bet against that?

We’ve set up our brand page on Ello at @6Smarketing. Need an invite? Email kwinfield (@) 6smarketing (dot) com and she will try and hook you up, or connect you with someone who can. Lastly, you can friend me at @crunchtime and please leave your comments below.

Crunchtime on Ello

Crunchtime on Ello

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