Ello
The Ello website is seen on the monitor screen on September 27, 2014 in Washington DC. In a matter of days, the new social network Ello, described as the 'anti-Facebook', has become perhaps the hottest ticket on the Internet.Getty Images

A new social network called Ello, which is being described as anti-Facebook due to its strong position on privacy and advertising is fast gaining and audience online.

"Ello doesn't sell ads. Nor do we sell data about you to third parties. 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," said the company, as reported by AFP News.

Ello's policy rests on the idea that selling personal data, "is both creepy and unethical", and on most sites, "under the guise of offering a 'free' service, users pay a high price in intrusive advertising and lack of privacy."

Behind the scenes

The network based in Vermont, US, was launched by a group of artists and programmers.

The leading man behind the launch was Paul Budnitz who is known for designing bicycles and robots. According to Budnitz, the concept behind Ello was to design a, "simple, beautiful and ad-free" network.

Despite being created last year as a "private" social network, Ello has now become an invitation-only network with invitations even being listed on eBay for as high as £308 ($500).

Social media feedback

Nathan Jurgenson, a social media theorist said:

"First, the biggest point is that ello, while spoken about as a facebook killer, is created to compete with tumblr and twitter. i don't see parents moving their photos of grandchildren to ello anytime soon because of a manifesto about data sharing.

"Another more obvious distinguishing affordance of ello is forcing you to split who you follow into friends and noise. Facebook puts everyone in one pile and tries to create signal from the noise through algorithmic ranking. Google+ wanted you to sort everyone into many "circles", and like facebook groups, proved to be too cumbersome and not useful. what friends/noise on ello reminds me of is how many people, including myself, use twitter "lists". It allows people to curtesy or tangentially follow lots of people without being inundated by that content all the time. It's my favorite ello feature so far."

Ello has also reportedly seen a major viral surge in the past week with up to 35,000 requests being submitted every hour.

For now, Ello is entirely free to use, however, some premium features to be added at a later stage could be made chargeable.

Despite being created last year as a "private" social network, Ello has now become an invitation-only network with invitations even being listed on eBay for as high as £308 ($500).