Ello is no Facebook killer.
Sorry, it never will be that. But that is looking at it the wrong way.
What is Ello then? For me, it's a Medium competitor.
Hear me out. Medium is a really nice-looking place where it's fun to write long-form stuff.
That's already the affordance of Ello. Post a neat photo, write an essay.
The photo above is of old TVs (mostly American) in Samsung's museum in Korea.
Does this bring the world something really new? Nah, come be serious.
But it does give us a place that has no baggage.
Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, all have baggage. We've all friended people we wish we hadn't. We all have decided what each of these things are for. Right? Facebook is for chatting with your friends about family and passions. Twitter, for chatting about real-time events. LinkedIn, for getting a job or doing a business-development deal. Google+, for photography, some geeky communities, or if you are a Google employee.
I could argue that each of these stereotypes are wrong, but it doesn't matter. That's sort of what we all have decided these things are (even if I use Facebook to watch the news, doesn't mean most of you have decided that is what it's for). My tech news list at https://www.facebook.com/lists/10150896044944655 shows that it CAN be used for that, but how many do? Not many.
So now we are faced with Ello. It's not good on mobile. The notification stream here is siloed and isn't controllable (it's VERY noisy about being followed and following, etc). It's not even really all that pretty.
So what's it for? For me, it's a nice place to post a photo and write some thoughts. Does it need to be more than that? Not tonight. In three months we'll be talking about who DID stick here (or who didn't) and we'll be judging it a LOT harsher than today.
As a competitor to Medium it doesn't have the nice typographic control. It doesn't have the mobile app yet. It doesn't have Evan Williams behind it. It doesn't have a real editorial team picking articles and making sure the good stuff gets seen.
Am I reading this wrong? I think the team behind Ello is enjoying a great week, getting millions of new users. But let's meet in three months. How many stick around? Already I'm seeing churn. Already I'm seeing a pushback, which is what happens when advocates push something new too hard.
Anyway, if I'm at Medium I'm probably bugged a bit because Ello got the free PR that it would have loved, but I'd learn from that. Medium isn't social enough, which is why I don't post there.
Ello is in danger, but it'll depend on the choices the team makes from now on.