Well, that didn’t take long. The new social media hotness, Ello, is no longer new or hotness, and is now more a moderately aged “meh,” judging by the number of searches for “Ello” from Google Trends.
Of course I must now issue all the usual disclaimers about social media and online data in general: there’s no way to know for sure whether search data reflects actual traffic to Ello, and indeed no one really knows if any data purporting to describe online trends is any way real or meaningful, rather than just, say, a postmodern game of smoke and mirrors or the dream of a butterfly or something.
With those important caveats out of the way, The Guardian notes that the volume of searches for Ello climbed from nothing before September 23, to reach its first peak on September 26, followed by a small dip before reaching an all-time peak on September 30 -- but has now plunged back to just about where it was before September 23. Even at its peak interest, Ello received no more than a tenth the volume of searches for “Twitter,” which in turn lags far behind Facebook.
After going live on August 7, the ad-free, invitation-only network attracted a huge amount of interest in the press and, yes, social media, growing to over a million members earlier this month, when it was supposedly receiving 100,000 requests for invitations per day. But I haven’t seen any data showing how many invitations were actually issued, how many people have continued using the site after signing up, or anything else that might indicate whether people are, like, using Ello.
Again, maybe Ello is a “sleeper” that will slowly creep up on the established social networks like an ad-free ninja, but if so, the key word is “slow.” Meanwhile everyone should probably prepare themselves for about a million more new social networks that grab the headlines for a month before sinking back into the great social sea.