Ever since MySpace fell off and Facebook took control of social media, people have waited for the next big social media empire to rise and give them a new reason to keep their eyes glued to their gadgets. That day may have finally arrived with a new social network called Ello.

According to BBC News, it started as a small network for a group of friends. Now it has exploded and is getting at least 31,000 requests an hour from people looking to join.

Starting a new social network doesn’t come without start-up problems. “We’re learning as we go but we have a very strong tech crew and back-end,” Ellofounder Paul Budnitz told the BBC. “It’s in beta and it’s buggy and it does weird stuff – and it’s all being fixed as quickly as we can.”

What makes Ello different from Facebook is that they don’t have advertisements, they don’t sell your personal information, and they value your privacy first and foremost. These are all the right things you want to hear about a social network, but there’s a catch: “Like the app store, we’re going to sell features for a few dollars,”Budnitz told BBC News.

It’s also invite only, at least for the time being.

ello-invitation-only

So, with more privacy comes a bit of a cost to join Ello. Then again, it makes sense that many people are willing to pay a couple of dollars so they don’t have their images end up on the side of a train in Brazil.

It’s too early to say if Ello will be the next big thing in social media, but 31,000 people requesting an invitation each hour is certainly worth noticing.

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