New social network site Ello is becoming known for its "ad-free" manifesto and being called the antidote to Facebook by some people.
Unlike Facebook's ad revenue, Ello makes money by offering features users can purchase for a small amount of money, similar to an app bought on a smartphone.
The site is gaining traction, so much so, that it had to suspend sign-ups last week because it was getting 3,000 to 4,000 a day. "I expect those numbers to continue to increase as the publicity around Ello increases," said Jonathan Heit, president at Allison+Partners.
Even with the press and hoopla surrounding Ello, Heit doesn't see it as a threat to Facebook's core business. Facebook has diversified offerings, including Instragram and Atlas.
"I think you're looking at a niche player in Ello that's trying to acquire smaller communities, in fact it was started by artists and really reached its first tipping point on the LGBT community that railed against Facebook's policies of being able to use pseudonym," said Heit.
According to Heit, smaller, newer social networks like Ello, force the bigger established networks to look at themselves and find out who their serving more, the users or the bottom line.
"I think this was a wake-up call to Facebook," said Heit. Facebook publicly apologized last week to the LGBT community for its name policy and just Wednesday on Facebook launched an pseudonym app that allows anonymity.
"I think without Ello drawing from that community and taking a lot of those people on, you wouldn't see Facebook so motivated to apologize and make real change so I think you will continue to see new social networks and other elements of the ecosystem popping up and to drive change at the big players and create a better environment for everyone," said Heit.