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New Social Network Ello Opens Invitations Again Following Freeze

The ad-free network has seen a crush of new users over the past few days.

Nicole Aptekar/ Ello

Ello, the ad-free, anti-Facebook social network that has everybody tweeting, hit capacity earlier Thursday — but only temporarily.

The social network, which is in beta and therefore requires an invite code for new users to join, stopped passing out the codes for a spell earlier today. The company said it wanted to “make sure that Ello remains stable as the network continues to grow,” and halted the influx of new users until it could get the infrastructure in place to support them.

The freeze was only temporary, and it appears as if that infrastructure has been solidified. Re/code reached out to Ello to determine exactly how quickly the social network is growing, but we have not yet heard back. Fast Company’s Reyhan Harmanci tweeted out that the site is receiving 34,000 new user requests an hour.

Freezing the site’s capacity was actually a pretty smart move by the startup, which has taken the Internet by storm over the past 48 hours. You never want to kill good momentum, but it would be worse if the site crashed and no one could use it. Having the necessary tech infrastructure is a common issue when new apps or websites get unexpected traffic like this. Twitter actually dealt with this issue for years — remember the “fail whale”?

What’s yet to be determined — and most likely won’t be for some time — is whether Ello is simply the new fad-of-the-week, or if it’s an actual, viable alternative to other social networks, like Facebook. Of course, we’re not comparing the two yet. Facebook has, after all, been around for a decade, not to mention its 1.3 billion active users. Still, Ello is trying to separate itself from the rest of the social world with one major promise: An ad-free experience.

Here’s a look at the company manifesto:

“Your social network is owned by advertisers.

Every post you share, every friend you make and every link you follow is tracked, recorded and converted into data. Advertisers buy your data so they can show you more ads. You are the product that’s bought and sold.

We believe there is a better way. We believe in audacity. We believe in beauty, simplicity and transparency. We believe that the people who make things and the people who use them should be in partnership.

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.”

Want to be part of the revolution? You’ll need an existing user to pass along an invite. Or you can request one yourself here.

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