Disliked to Death: Failed Social Media Platforms


Ello creators Todd Berger and Paul Budnitz had a game-changing vision for social media. So, the two put their heads together and developed a new social networking site in March of 2014.

Like many large-scale social media platforms, Ello users could share, interact, and connect with all their friends. The difference was that Ello was completely ad-free. Plus, you could rest assured that your personal information would not be sold off to data-mining corporations. A novel idea in a world where everything has a dollar value.

The initial success of the site was encouraging, though numbers eventually waned. Competing with Facebook is a tough business model. But, like Madonna and Brittney before them, Ello re-invented itself. Today, Ello is a place where creative people network, share, and learn.


You may have never heard of it, but SixDegrees.com is widely celebrated as the very first social networking site to hit the Internet. The site was founded in May 1996 and broke ground on many popular social media features for the first time. Profiles, friends list, school groups … SixDegrees had it all, long before Facebook and even MySpace.


Unfortunately for the site’s founders and investors, SixDegrees was a few years too early. Internet speeds, prices, and accessibility weren’t up to the level required. As such, the site crashed frequently. SixDegrees would end up being sold in 2000 and doesn’t exist anymore. But, the Internet OGs will always remember their valuable contribution to the digital landscape.


Before Google+ crashed and burned, there was Orkut, the Google-backed social media platform that launched in 2004, Orkut worked in much the same way that you would expect a social media platform to work. It allowed you to connect with old friends, meet new ones, send messages, and customize themes.

Orkut didn’t make one major misstep, like the Google+ fiasco, instead it failed to provide a level of service and faltered in the face of stiff competition. At one point, Orkut was being used by over 27-million people — then Facebook and Twitter happened.

Both Facebook and Twitter improved on some of the features that Orkut offered. Simply put, Facebook and Twitter just worked better. As such, Orkut was shut down in 2004.

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