What Instagram, Twitter, and Jelly Indicate About the Future of Ello
Will Ello unseat Facebook? Only time will tell. But the early
signs indicate that Ello has a good shot at carving out its own
niche on the social network landscape.
● 37% of Ello users are female, 63% are male
● 36% of Ello users have never posted
● 27% of Ello users have posted more than three times
● 6 days after signup, about 20% of users remain active
average posts per
What is Ello?
“Ello is a simple, beautiful, and ad-free social network
created by a small group of artists and designers.”
And it seems to be everywhere
Over the past week, Ello has been covered by TechCrunch, Mashable,
and Harvard Business Review. It’s been called everything from the end of
Facebook to just another stupid social network. So, which is it?
But what does the data say?
This is the question we set out to answer. To conduct this research, we
pulled Ello data directly from the site—all post, follower, and following
data is publicly available to all users. Our sample size includes nearly
160,000 Ello users. Next, we loaded the raw data into RJMetrics for
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The Rise of Ello
Ello has been around since
March, but growth was slow
until the end of September
2014. Starting September
23rd, Ello began
experiencing a huge surge in
growth. TechCrunch covered
Ello at peak hype, September
25th. After this point, new
user acquisition began
A Force to be
But don’t let this fool you into
thinking Ello isn’t a force to be
reckoned with. New user
acquisition isn’t as high as it
was last week, but it’s
significantly higher than it was
last month. In addition, the
number of active users on
Ello is still 100x higher than it
was before September 21st.
A Place in the Social
Cohort analysis is the best way
to see how user engagement
is shifting over time. We
zoomed in on Ello’s period of
hyper- growth to see what we
could learn. We were
impressed to learn that about
20% of Ello users were active
every day, 4, 5, and 6 days
after account creation. We
wanted to look back at
another analysis we did in the
early days of Twitter for
Twitter vs. Ello
Back in 2009, when Twitter
had been around for about
three years, we analyzed its
user engagement. We found
that about 20+% of Twitter
users were returning over the
course of a given week. This
closely matches what we’re
seeing with Ello.
Jelly App vs. Ello
Remember Jelly? When it
launched earlier this year we
analyzed active user cohorts
by day as well. By Day 6,
even the best-performing
cohorts only had 10% of users
Ello’s user engagement
numbers look much closer to
Twitter’s than they do Jelly’s
—a very good sign for the
Ello is doing a solid job
retaining active users, but
just how active are they?
We segmented Ello’s entire
population of users by how
many times they have
posted. 36% have never
posted, and 18% have only
Instagram vs. Ello
In periods of exponential growth, user activity on a
new social network can be extremely volatile. Ello
claims to be adding 3-4k new users per hour, 73%
of which haven’t updated more than three times.
But compare this to Instagram.
Back in 2011,
Instagram was adding 130,000 new users per
week (~800 / hour) and 65% of all users had not
uploaded more than three pictures.
Again, Ello is holding its own.
The Future of Ello
Breaking into the social landscape is harder today than it
was two, three, or five years ago, but the initial data for Ello
looks promising. Users are interested, trying out the app,
and enough of them are sticking around to give Ello some
We can’t predict the future, but early indicators in the data
say that Ello has a real shot.
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