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Ello is all the rage these days. People are signing up faster than the site can handle, and tech reporters can’t stop discussing it and tweeting about it.

But what is really happening on the site itself?

When we spoke to Ello founder Paul Budnitz a couple of days ago, he said he didn’t know who Ello’s users are — the company doesn’t know user demographics because they don’t track them — and didn’t want to give specific user numbers, probably preferring for everyone to assume it was blowing up through the roof because that’s what the media was saying.

But to our delight, business intelligence company RJMetrics has done a bit of scraping of Ello’s site and come up with a few interesting stats on Ello’s users and their behaviors on the site.

Take a look at what the company found from a sample size of almost 160,000 Ello users:

  • 37 percent of Ello users are female, 63 percent are male (based on cross-referencing usernames with U.S. census data)
  • 36 percent of Ello users have never posted
  • 27 percent of Ello users have posted more than three times
  • Six days after signup, about 20 percent of users remain active (which RJMetrics defines as users who have “actually posted” from the account)

But what’s also interesting is that when RJMetrics compared Ello’s numbers to that of majorly popular social networks in their early days, Ello is actually doing just as well — it might have a future beyond the frenzy of signups, after all.

Here are a couple of RJMetrics finds:

  • Twenty percent of Ello users are still active four, five, and six days after signing up
  • In 2009 (three years after launch), a little over 20 percent of Twitter users were still active about a week later
  • When Jelly (Twitter founder Biz Stone’s new app) launched, only 10 percent of its users were still active on the sixth day

And back in 2011, when Instagram was adding about 800 users per hour (130,000 per week), 65 percent of them had only uploaded three pictures or less. A similar 73 percent of Ello users have only posted three times or less — OMG Facebook might buy them! (Note the sarcasm here.)

While we’re still skeptical about Ello and its future, it is interesting to note that many of the popular social networks had shaky starts as well. Moreover, even Facebook has built out its feature set and continuously added things for users to do on the site or app to keep them spending time there, and Ello is only at the beginning of the long list of features it says it wants to build.

We’ve reached out to the Ello team for comment and will update if we hear back.

Check out the rest of RJMetrics’ presentation:

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