Ello, which is currently in Beta, was developed by digital specialists Modeset, and was founded by Berger & Fohr, Modeset and designer Paul Budnitz.
The site started out as a private social network according to its founders, and aims to offer users an alternative to other social networks which can bombard users with advertising, and in turn, allow brands to track users’ data.
The branding is based around a simple black and white smiley face device, and the site uses a black, white and grey colour palette throughout.
Ello says: “We believe in beauty, simplicity and transparency.”
“We will invite you as soon as we can. Ello is currently in beta, and we are inviting new users in small groups as we roll out new features.”
While the site is in Beta, new users can only join the site if they are invited by existing members. They can also request an invite from the site.
Members with public profiles on the site can create custom pages, where they can post text and images with a simple, Tumblr-like interface. Other uses can then “follow” these users for updates.
Among the features currently on the site are the ability to comment on posts and to receive in-stream notifications about who is following your page and whether other users have “mentioned” you. The site can also be toggled to use with Google Analytics.
Features the site says are “coming soon” include the ability to block users, flag inappropriate content and apps for iOS and Android mobile platforms.
Ello’s manifesto states: “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.
“You are not a product.”