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Yo - the next Twitter?

Kayla Lidstone's picture

An app so stupid that it’s brilliant, Yo was the most basic form of instant messenger there possibly could be. All it does is allow users to send a simple “Yo” to other users. Then you can reply with a Yo if you want to. No text, no pictures, just an audible “Yo”. Rather absurd right?

Somehow it caught on though and it became largely popular in the app world with 2.5 million registered users. But now, Yo is changing the very concept of the app so that it can compete with Twitter.

Yo updated the app on Tuesday with many more features than before (not that there were many before). However, Or Arbel, the founder and chief executive of Yo, said that the app would still have the option of staying simple for those who liked the basic function of Yo. “It’s only what you can do it with it that is now overwhelming,” Arbel said.

Arbel hopes that the app will help “users everywhere communicate more with the things they care about” – whether that means friends, news sites, brands or virtually anything that can connect to the Internet.




The app is currently valued at $10 million and currently has over 2,000 developers who have started working with the API.

While Yo is laughed at for its ambition to compete with Twitter, it has actually been useful in more than just to say Yo to one another.


A recent use of Yo was the Israeli notification service. Those who follow “RedAlertIsrael” in the app receive an alert to warn them of incoming missile strikes.

And with the new features, so much more can be done. Yo has launched an IFTTT channel which allows you to control air conditioning and light switches, not to mention use it to log a gym visit using Jawbone UP (remember we spoke on this in one of my previous blogs?).

Unfortunately, for now, you can only activate one of the functions with IFTTT at a time.

Yo is a simple concept, sure, but think of the endless possibilities! One app to turn the simple send of a Yo to control all of the functions in your life. Can you imagine getting a Yo when your parcel is ready at the post office or when you are next at the doctor’s office?

I believe that Yo could very easily be just as big, if not bigger than Twitter, let me know what you think?


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