Your social network is owned by advertisers. Every post you share, every friend you make, and every link you follow is tracked, recorded, and converted into data. ~ Ello Manifesto

Two weeks ago almost no one had heard of Ello. But that was two weeks ago. September 24th, BetaBeat referred to Ello as “the mysterious social network”. September 25th, TechCrunch declared that Ello was “blowing up”. September 26th, The Daily Beast said “the service’s problems far outweigh the benefits”. September 28th, Ello experienced its first DDoS attack. September 29th, The Washington Post called Ello “hopelessly, irredeemably naive”.

We were curious how much truth lay in all the hype. But other than claims that Ello was adding 3,000-4,000 new users per hour , there wasn’t much data about the rising star. So we decided to get our own. To conduct this research, we pulled Ello directly from the site — all post, follower, and following data is publicly available to all users — and collected a sample size of nearly 160,000 Ello users. Next, we loaded the raw data into RJMetrics for analysis.

Here are a few highlights:

  • 37% of Ello users are female
  • 36% of Ello users have never posted
  • 27% of Ello users have posted more than three times
  • 6 days after signup, 25% of users are still active

On its own, the raw data reveals some interesting tidbits, but how does its performance stack up against older, more well-established social networks? Using analysis that we’ve done in the past we compared Ello’s performance against two of our most-loved platforms, Twitter and Instagram; and a brand new app that launched earlier this year, Jelly.

Here’s what we learned:

  • Kashif Vikaas

    Ello lacks the complete feature set to draw in casual users. Every product with broad user engagement whether it is YouTube, Twitter, or RJMetrics builds its product features around a focal concern then builds outward from there. (Remember the Google paradigm “Be really really good at one thing”).

    Ello seems to have a skeleton feature set that chases away anyone but the most hardcore
    hypermodern set.

    Moreover, the genius of Facebook is that its social network depends on real-life relationships. Every social network that came before it (Myspace, Friendster) lacked this theme. Even social networks like Twitter that have made it continue to be worth less than Facebook because associations are formed around CONTENT INTERESTS, NOT REAL LIFE RELATIONSHIPS.

    Real-life relationships are more lucrative to advertisers because if your friends are
    buying it, you will buy it too

    Ironically, because Ello does not advertise, it has little incentive to be a data-driven company. It has little incentive to learn anything about its users or what may drive user engagement. In fact that’s their raison d’etre

    Facebook, inversely has EVERY incentive to be a data-driven company.

    Due to its simplicity Ello will sustain itself but I doubt it will succeed on a Facebook scale.

    Ello is not a disruptive company