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Ello-logoEllo. If you haven't heard of it yet you would have without my help. The media needs a new social networking topic and Ello is perfect. It's ad-free, anti-Facebook and cool with drag queens. Does that mean it's time for musicians to get on board for an ad-free, non-Facebook social media experience? That depends on a lot of things but there is a lot of energy moving into Ello at the moment and there is an opportunity to be an early adopting musician with a lot of new friends and music to share.

Currently Ello is in beta, is commited to remaining ad-free and devoid of the related surveillance yet has unresolved issues around privacy features, is invite only, has a lot of basic work to do and is getting a lot of new members in the wake of Facebook's removal of the accounts of drag queens for not using names that look ordinary.

Whatever your take on Facebook's maneuvers, a lot of people are sick of Facebook and desire an alternative that somehow magically attracts all their friends at just the right time. For drag queens and many members of the extended community that time is now. For many others who are affected by the real names policy, including numerous musicians, it's also making sense to move.

Multiple Demographics Converging On Ello

But Ello coverage has two divergent streams at the moment. Some coverage knows about the drag queen angle. Some doesn't but knows that Ello has had a sharp rise in traffic and memberships. Those streams will converge but the second is simply presenting Ello as an anti-Facebook in keeping with its manifesto.

That means at least two demographics are being attracted at the moment. Drag queens and their pals plus people who are in solidarity on the issue or have issues with the real names policy and hate Facebook as well as people who want an ad-free experience without a lot of surveillance and imposition of annoying features many of whom hate Facebook.

Ello appears to be the answer to the needs of both groups and maybe of others as well. Bonus: you don't have to hate Facebook to join.

But there are a lot of things to consider about having a presence on Ello if you're thinking about music marketing.

People On Ello Are Sensitive To Overt Marketing

As Netflix just discovered folks on Ello don't want to be marketed to. But, honestly, if you haven't learned how to do cool things like share great music and videos and speak with people in a human voice without sounding like a pitchman, as a lot of us have been running on about, then you deserve to get humiliated on such platforms.

What if Netflix had instead dropped a series of posts featuring movies about surveillance including science fiction films that tie it into advertising? They could participate in a cool way and they would get lots of positive coverage in the process.

There are a number of other issues being raised many of which focus on the fact that Ello has taken venture capital and follows the assumption that only one trajectory is now possible and that will require ads.

However Ello and the FreshTracks Capital VCs backing them beg to differ. This should be interesting to watch play out to see if a freemium strategy with extra paid features can work for a social network as it has for other kinds of web companies.

Ello Has Potential For Early Adopters

If you want to connect with a new social network at a point when there's a lot of energy moving its way, which is a good time to make a move, then join Ello now or in a few weeks when they get a few more bugs worked out. But I'd say try to get in on the beta before they open up to the general public so you have a solid presence on the network. That's what leads to quick early growth for social media accounts without having to resort to fakery.

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Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) recently launched DanceLand. Send news about music tech startups and services, DIY music biz and music marketing to: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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