Ello Raised $5.5m in Funding, Promises Never to Host Ads

elloHaving raised $5.5m (£3.4m) in Series A funding, social network Ello has registered itself as a public benefit corporation in order to guarantee it will never display advertising.

The new legal status for the company, which was founded in March 2014 as a private network for a small group of artists, commits the company to abiding by its ethical principals, which include a promise to never profit from selling advertising or user data.

The network, which currently operates on an invitation-only basis, skyrocketed in popularity after Facebook introduced a rule banning the use of stage names and other pseudonyms on the site. However, search traffic has since dropped off, following Facebook reversing its position and apologising to users affected by the change in policy.

“Ellos explosive growth over the last few months proves that there is a hunger to connect with friends and see beautiful things – without being manipulated by ad salesmen, boosted posts, and computer algorithms that dont always have our best interests at heart,” wrote Ello in a letter than accompanied its registering as a public benefit corporation. “On an ad-driven social network, the advertisers is the customer and youre the product thats bought and sold.

“To assure in the strongest possible way that Ello stays focused on its mission to be a different kind of social network, Ello has converted to a State of Delaware Public Benefit Corporation.”