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Weekly updates

Fed up with Facebook? Ever dream of a virtual place where you can share life moments and ideas with your friends and not have to worry about having ads shoved in your faces or nipples censored? Ello might be your new social network of choice. If you can get in.

Launching in March, the online space has been flying under the radar, arguably headed towards internet obscurity, but has seen a recent dramatic increase in interest. But what the hell(o) is it?

Welp, according to its manifesto (yes, it has one of those): “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.” See the full manifesto here. Essentially, it’s a more aesthetically pleasing, no ads, no games, no targeted content, no spying social network. Sounds nice, huh?

Started initially as a way for creatives to connect and share their work devoid of crass ads/content, the network is still in beta stage and you can only join if invited by somebody who’s already ‘in’ – sounds a lot like most new underground clubs that open in any cosmopolitan city.

And with Facebook enforcing yet another round of privacy encroaching measures, droves of Facebook users are defecting to the minimalist, ad-free, nipple censorship-free, use-whatever-name-you-want new kid on the social media block. Sure, getting people to use their government names might pump the brakes on those incessant internet trolls but a lot of people have legitimate reasons for operating under an alias and hey, how about freedom of expression?

I am yet to enter the realm of Ello i.e. I haven’t received an invite yet ☹, probably because over 30,000 other people had the same idea at the same time but according to creator Paul Budnitz, the team is working around the clock to ensure the site stays online and are ‘rationing’ out the invites to new members in small batches.

Will it supercede The House That Zuckerberg built? Time will tell. In the meantime, here are some nice beta public profiles you can lurk.