Pros and Cons: Joining Ello from The Tonight Show


In light of the launch of new social network Ello, Jimmy weighs the good and bad of joining the anonymous Facebook.

James Thomas “Jimmy” Fallon (born September 19, 1974) is an American television host, comedian, actor, singer, musician, writer, and producer. He currently hosts The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, a late-night talk show that airs on NBC. Prior to that, he appeared in several films, and was best known as a cast member on Saturday Night Live from 1998 to 2004, and the host of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon from 2009 to 2014. On April 3, 2013, NBC announced that Fallon would replace Jay Leno as host of The Tonight Show at the conclusion of the 2014 Winter Olympics.[1] Fallon said it will be “the same show” as Late Night: “I’m not going to change anything. It’s more eyeballs watching, but it’s the same show.”[2]
Ello is an ad-free social networking service created by Paul Budnitz (founder of Kidrobot), graphic design lab Berger and Föhr, and technology collective Mode Set.[1][2]

Launched in March 2014 amid little fanfare, Ello became popular in late September 2014 when many people, particularly in the LGBTQ community, left Facebook following the controversial ePros and Cons: Joining Ello from The Tonight Shownforcement of its real-name policy thought to be intended to exclude drag queens in San Francisco.[3][4][5]

Ello started as a private social network consisting of seven artists and programmers and, after a year of private use, the creators redesigned the web site and launched a public version.[3] Seed funding of $435,000 from the venture capital investor, FreshTracks Capital, in January 2014 helped sustain the company. This decision earned some criticism when the network achieved wider popularity.[6][7]

The Ello web site was launched on March 18, 2014 (around the same time as Yo), complete with a manifesto that claimed to distinguish it from social networks such as Facebook. The site promised it would never sell user data, proclaiming that “You Are Not A Product”.[1][8] The social network service officially launched on April 3, although membership registration was only by invitation.[9][10]

For the next several months Ello enjoyed steady, but slow, growth.[5] In late September 2014, after a crackdown by Facebook on the use of pseudonyms, many people, particularly those in or sympathetic to the LGBTQ community, flocked to Ello. At its peak, the social network was processing more than 30,000 signup requests an hour.[3][11] It is estimated that 20% of sign ups remain active on the site one week after registration.[12]