Ello is the doomed utopia we can’t stop building

See the original posting on The Verge

One day this summer, I spent an afternoon with computing pioneer Jaron Lanier talking about virtual reality. Lanier is a leading critic of the internet’s advertising-based business models, and when Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus Rift came up, he pushed the company to look for alternative sources of revenue. “Every time there is a new platform, there is a chance to create a new economic model,” Lanier said.

The desire for an alternative to Facebook goes most of the way in explaining the overnight sensation that is Ello, a three-month-old social network founded on the idea that ad-based internet businesses are corrupt. The service, which has yet to build a mobile app and is available only on the web, exploded in popularity this…

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