Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week you have probably heard of Ello.co, the anti-Facebook social network. The founders describe Ello as “a simple, beautiful, and ad-free social network created by a small group of artists and designers.” Launched in March 2014, the new social network made a splash in late September 2014 after a few articles about the network went viral.
Some reports suggest that on Thursday, September 25th 2014, as many as 31,000 people were joining the network every single hour. Following Facebook’s controversial enforcement of real-names policy against drag queens in San Francisco, a large part of the LGBT community ditched FB for Ello, a network that doesn’t discriminate. Of course the future of the network is unknown and most people believe it will fail just like Diaspora and many others did. However, the controversy and the viral aspect attracted many new users to Ello.
The fact that Ello is still in beta and is “Invite Only” attracted even more people. Now get this, some people were so desperate they were ready to do anything to become a part of the new, hip, shiny network. Each user can invite up to 5 friends, however, there are other places where you can get your invite. If you know where to look you can probably get an invite within minutes. If you don’t know where to look, you can… buy an invite. Yes, I am serious, people spend money in order to become a member of a FREE social network (hipsters gonna hip).
At this point I’ve decided to check out the most obvious marketplace: eBay. Surely enough I found at least 500 different listing selling Ello.co invites, some charging $1 and some, very optimistic people, selling an invite for $5,000. It always amazed me how fast people can fill a demand with a product, especially when no work is needed to do so. The top two listings seemed the most popular, although most other listings offered a lower price. That’s your typical “Higher price = more perceived value“.
The top ad sold 148 invites at $6.99 each for a total of $1034.22. The second listing sold 96 units at $10 each for a total of $960. Now, I noticed the second listing didn’t keep a consistent price throughout the day. I saw their listing change prices from $10 to $11 to $12 to $13 then back down to $10 and finally down to $5 at the moment of writing this. That’s market testing 101. More demand – price goes up, less demand, the price goes down.
I am writing this post not to tell you about Ello and predict it’s future but to simply point out how easy it could be to make some quick cash from time to time if you keep your eyes and ears open. This is in no way a good business model (it can’t even be called a business). In a few days eBay will be filled with thousands of people selling these invites. A week or a few weeks later Ello will probably open to public and get rid of the “Invite Only”. Once again, it isn’t a business but the first invite-sellers will probably manage to make a few thousand dollars in less than a week… some food for thought.
I don’t really care for Ello but I am an internet marketer and I like to stay informed. This is why I join most new social media networks, just to know what it is and what it looks like, it might be useful in the future.
If you want a free invite to Ello, simply leave a comment below 😉
p.s. I will send 5 more invites today/tomorrow. So leave your comment and I’ll chose the five people to invite.