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Ello, the Anti-Facebook, Rises From a Vermont Bike Shop

Paul Budnitz is the founder of Ello, the new anti-ad, pro-porn social network for all your most pretentious friends

Paul Budnitz
Photograph by Harry Gould Harvey IV

Paul Budnitz paces his bicycle shop in blue sneakers. The 47-year-old co-founder of Ello speaks into a headset to a reporter, one of many interviews since his new social network went viral in late September. “The way to think about Ello is there are absolutely no advertisements, no data mining,” he says. “And there never will be.” Todd Berger, a partner in Ello and one of its primary designers, listens as Budnitz ticks off his talking points, sinking into a tangerine couch. “S-‍-‍-’s crazy,” Berger says. “It’s been wild.”