Take Five: Ello Explained In Five Steps

by Katy Blake

If you’ve been online in the past week, you’ve probably heard of Ello. Fear not if you don’t quite understand it yet, though – here’s Ello, explained in five.

  1. What is Ello?

Ello is an “independent, ad-free, porn friendly” social media network that has been dubbed the “anti-Facebook”. It was initially launched back in March, although it failed to make the news until this week.

2. What does Ello do?

Ello appears to be a blend of Tumblr and Twitter. At the moment, the network is quite limited. Users are able to post a text, photo or GIF status update, and to comment on other people’s updates. There is also a search function, but this appears to be quite glitchy at the moment.

3. Why has Ello gone viral?

There are a few rumours about why Ello has suddenly hit the news, but it appears to all be linked to the ongoing Facebook privacy debate.

In short, Facebook upset a lot of people when it enforced its “real name only” policy, including a vocal LGBT group, and a selection of high-profile drag performers. Facebook officials met the group to try and agree a way forward, but no permanent solution could be found – instead, Facebook agreed to “temporarily” reinstate the groups’ accounts.

The group quickly joined Ello, and invited their Facebook communities to do the same.

4. What are Ello’s biggest problems?

At the moment, the biggest criticisms of Ello surround its limited functionality and lax security.

As of today, there is no way to block other users of Ello, or to report inappropriate content. There is also no way to set up a private profile. Ello has announced that it is planning to incorporate these features, along with mobile apps, but cannot commit to a release date yet.

On a site that publicly announces that it is “porn friendly”, being able to flag or remove inappropriate content is pretty important! There have already been a few controversial posts doing the rounds on the site.

5. How do I get an Ello invite?


There are two ways to get an Ello invite – either by signing up via the website, or by asking someone who is already on the site to invite you. Invited users get priority over the website waiting list.

However you get your invite, though, you might be in for a wait until you can join. The founder announced that the site had gone from an average of 4,000 requests per hour to over 27,000 requests per hour, and they have began suspending the invite ability while they clear the backlog.

So what do you think? Will you be joining the site?

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