According to Ello's About page, Ello is "a simple, beautiful, and ad-free social network created by a small group of artists and designers" and, after a look, that sounds about right. Yeah it could (and probably will) all fall apart in no time but let's play with the new toy anyway, eh?
My first impressions are good. Well, good-ish. From what I can tell there's a Twitter + Tumblr + LiveJournal mash-up thing going on. It's an endless-stream-of-stuff-from-people-you-follow kinda deal but with a neat friends & noise system for managing clutter. Two thumbs up. I've never enjoyed the "here's a bunch of photos I think are cool" side of Tumblr and being able to filter that stuff out is, um, cool.
However, social networks are only as good as the people you follow and, on Ello, the (few) people I'm following are pretty quiet right now. That'll hopefully change. @garrymac (AKA ace comic artist Garry McLaughlin) has written a wee post that I agree with hoping that folk'll use Ello for talking and journaling instead of just photo sharing. The death of Google Reader killed blogging for a lot of my art / illustration friends and I'd love to see them writing more.
So until we're all sold out in a billion dollar cash grab, I'll stay optimistic. The name is a good sign - "'ello" is a hell of a way to start a conversation.