Ello, the alternative social network, has big plans for 2015, including the launch of native mobile apps and a “big” website redesign.
The service, which got a lot of buzz this fall as an ad-free alternative to Facebook, is planning a big redesign for next year and is already building its first mobile apps. Ello revealed the news in an email to users today, and a spokesperson separately confirmed it to VentureBeat.
Ello launched on the web a few months ago after its founders built it for themselves and their friends. Since garnering a lot of attention at the end of September and announcing a $5.5 million raise, Ello has regularly added new features and improved others, such as the “reply all” button it launched today. Earlier this month, Ello added emoji and username autocompletion to the mobile version of its website, showing that it’s well aware of the importance of mobile for its users.
Next year, Ello told us, it will launch native mobile apps for iOS and Android, although a spokesperson declined to share a specific release timeline.
The company is also planning a “BIG design update to the desktop interface” for next year, potentially messing with its well-known minimalist, black-and-white design. So far, Ello’s updates and new features have been very minimal, mostly related to functionality, and none radically altered its current design. And although it’s become one of Ello’s signatures, some users have found the interface a bit confusing and not very visually appealing.
New mobile apps and a redesigned site could help Ello make a comeback in 2015 and increase its overall engagement. As business intelligence company RJMetrics found from scraping the site in early October, people initially signed up for the network in hordes, but they never posted very much on the site. Moreover, Ello’s unique visitors took a huge dive from 275,000 in October to only 125,000 in November, according to Comscore data.
Ello has repeatedly declined to discuss its growth since it originally launched, but the company appears determined to move forward, regardless of its traction so far.