Social networks are a fairly ubiquitous part of many lives, but are they acting in your best interest? A new social something, Ello, doesn’t think so. With a pared down site that looks more text editor than social platform, Ello is making some bold claims, and promising a new day for social.

Via their site, we get what’s being noted as a manifesto. In the letter, which reads as much like a wake-up-call to arms as it does snide commentary on social media, Ello offers their sobering view of social. “Every post you share, every friend you make and every link you follow is tracked, recorded and converted into data” it reads. Further hammering home their point, Ello bolds proclaims “You are the product that’s bought and sold.” Yikes.

Rather than be a product of the system, Ello is inviting us to be part of it. “We believe that the people who make things and the people who use them should be in partnership” the manifesto states. What Ello offers isn’t quite clear, but they note that whatever is offered will be. Transparency, cohesion, and a no-nonsense approach seem to carry the day with Ello.

But what is it, really? Social, sure — but to what end? Another social network, or something deeper? So far Ello is the Project Mayhem of social, but we’ve not seen action yet. A sparse site with a plain text commentary on what social media is — and should be, according to them — has our interest. We’d like to see if they can really shake up the social platform, or if they’re just another social site/app that fills a niche we didn’t know existed. There’s no timeframe for release for whatever Ello has planned, but we’ll be ready when they are.