So, Ello’s gone, right? That’s over? ’Oodbye and ’ood luck? It shone bright and flamed out fast, and I can’t say I’m surprised. I never actually got around to signing up for Ello during the Great Symbolic Drag Queen and General Privacy Rights Temporary Exodus of 2014—not because I wasn’t on that side of the issue (scah-rew yew for many reasons, Facebook), but because Ello was so clearly not going to happen.
The cultural slide from one social network into another—that moment when you can’t remember why you ever used a site that once felt vital—is a massive, glacial sea change that really can’t be forced. Do you remember when Friendster gave way to Myspace? It wasn’t because Myspace had a better street team or Friendster had a major PR snafu or that we all decided, collectively, to make the move. Myspace just found a need and filled it. One moment Friendster was the thing you needed and the next it wasn’t. (It’s since been so completely obliterated by Facebook and Twitter that I can’t even remember what that need was. HTML? Tila Tequila?) Once enough people have that need fulfilled, going back is inconceivable.