Now that the hype surrounding Ello has died down a little, I thought it’d be interesting to bring together some of the thoughts from my network on LinkedIn (and beyond) on the debate surrounding its anti-Facebook manifesto, sparked by my blog piece from a couple of weeks ago.

Overlooking the fact it´s still pretty buggy, Larry Kim, writing for the Inc. website, says he´s been enjoying Ello more every day. Although there´s no Like button, Kim says there´s much to love – including the Love button which allows users to nail their colours to the mast.

“It´s not going to be the next Facebook,” however, he adds – and probably will never be able to place itself in such company. That doesn´t mean the platform can´t be a roaring success, Kim suggests.

To allow it to soar, though, Ello will have to slowly increase the number of people who can access the network (it´s currently working on an invite-only basis). Gemma Shannon, digital marketing at Failte Ireland, highlights how Gmail started in such humble fashion – and that´s not done too badly. But its success will depend on whether enough current Facebook users care about keeping their personal details – well – personal.

“A lot will depend on how much priority users place on its respect for the privacy of users´ data as well as whether its business model will be successful in the long run,” Shannon adds.

Michael Hariato, digital marketing manager at Netbiz Inc., thinks that privacy is indeed a concern for many users. He believes Ello could take off, but, like Kim, suggests that Facebook is somewhat out of reach.

“What´s probably going to happen to Ello is that it will thrive as a social media network, but just within a very distinct niche,” Hariato said.

“I could see it being a platform for photographers, fashion designers and models, [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][in] the same way LinkedIn is used for business professionals. That´s not too bad.”

That would be a very sizeable niche indeed. However, others are less optimistic, suggesting that Ello has missed the boat, whilst struggling to see any sustainability in the current business model.

“If ads are a certain no-no, and if only a small fraction of their users subscribe to pay for the ´occasional special features´, there needs to be another form of revenue at least,” says Deep Mona Hazarika, digital marketing and analytics senior consultant at Nabler.

Have you seen anything to change your mind about the platform? Also, will Ello be able to maintain the momentum as it takes the time to increase its capacity to accommodate more users?[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Ben Hollom

October 7, 2014