BreakThru News, ep. 31: The 'Anti-Facebook'


By Charlotte Thun-Hohenstein

Has Facebook met its match? The launch of Ello at the beginning of this past August stirred up decriers of the social media behemoth, and shortly of the start-up began being referred to widely as the ‘Anti-Facebook’. The platform’s founder, Paul Budnitz, explicitly rejects the notion of direct competition with Facebook, though Ello’s style of social network does seem to challenge the incumbent online giant.

Ello departs from Facebook in several ways: it proudly asserts that it will never sell users’ data to advertizing companies, nor does it collect personal information such as age or gender. People can create profiles using pseudonyms. Perhaps most radically, there is no restriction on obscene or pornographic content. Maybe the fact that the site is ‘invite-only’ also helps. Whatever the combination of reasons, people are flocking to the start-up at the rate of 38,000 requests a day. Regardless of cynicism around the long-term viability of the site’s business model (or lack thereof), the attention it is getting is still impressive.

Replacing Facebook, however, remains another matter entirely. The social media titan is used by 57 percent of all American adults as of 2013, and 829 million daily users as of June of this year. The company also owns several other social media platforms, including staple apps such Instagram and WhatsApp. Even with such cautionary tales as Xanga and Myspace (the latter of which now uses a Facebook account sign-in), it’s difficult to imagine Facebook dissolving from modern life. BreakThru News discusses these questions on this week’s session with Dane Feldman and Molly Freeman of BTR’s The Hash podcast. Time will tell if Ello is up to the task.

Video Credits
Host, Writer – Charlotte Thun-Hohenstein
Video Editor – Andy Morell
Script Supervisor – Matthew DeMello
Research – Lisa Autz

with guests – Dane Feldman, Molly Freeman