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Invite-only Facebook rival Ello hit by DDoS attack

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Ello, the invite-only social network that is free from all forms of advertising, was hit by a distributed denial of service attack.

The attack caused the Ello website to go down for 45 minutes.

"This doesn't happen often, but it looks like something is broken," said a message posted on the homepage of Ello.

"There might be more information on our status page which is reporting All Systems Operational." 

Ello was able to restore the website's services through blocking the IP addresses that were responsible for the DDoS attack.

Ello has positioned itself as the social network that will not place its users under a data mining environment. The social network will also not be displaying advertisements, earning it the tag of being the anti-Facebook.

Despite the invite-only status of Ello, which requires new users to first gain invitations from the current users to be able to sign up for the social network, the social network has been steadily increasing its user base.

Just a few days ago, the number of users that were signing up for Ello reached as high as 31,000 new users per hour.

However, the increasing number of users may have allowed the social network to gain attention from hackers, as more users makes the social network as more attractive target for hackers.

Ello co-founder and CEO Paul Budnitz said that he got the idea for the social network because "none of the social networks are fun anymore." 

Budnitz added that the black-and-white layout of Ello that emphasizes pictures is designed to "be about conversation and high-quality content."

While signing up for Ello and using the social network is currently free, Budnitz said that the social network may be charging a few dollars soon so that users will be able to unlock add-on features such as multiple-account logins and a designer emoji pack.

"We actually put out a call asking people what they would like and we've had thousands of people that have written in offering features to pay," he said.

Ello was originally created to be a private social network. However, as more and more people wanted to join Ello, the creators decided to develop a public version.

"You are not a product," writes the creators of Ello in its manifesto.

"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," continues the manifesto, criticizing the data mining and advertising models being implemented by Facebook and other social networks.

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