Today's Buzziest App: One That Only Says 'Yo'

Investors and ridiculers are lining up

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 18, 2014 7:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – Have you been Yo'd yet? If the question makes no sense, you've missed the buzz around a new app called Yo that allows people to send a message of "Yo" to their friends. That's it. (Unless you double-tap the name and make it "YoYo." Before laughing it off, note that the creators are dead serious about its potential and have already raised $1 million from investors led by Mobli CEO Moshe Hogeg, as the Financial Times reported in the story that set off a flurry of coverage. Inventor Or Arbel tells ThinkProgress that the promise of Yo centers around what he calls "context-based communications." Users generally understand what the Yo means based on who sends it and when it arrives. (Yeah, the app is drawing its fair share of ridicule.)

"People don’t get it," Arbel tells Mashable. "They think that it's just an app that says 'Yo.' What we see is a whole new way to get notifications—life notifications—from friends, family." Or from businesses: Arbel floats the idea of Starbucks customers getting a Yo when their drink is ready. And the New York Times notes that users can get a Yo every time a goal is scored in the World Cup—thanks to a part-time employee who is charged with watching every game. All the stories relay the genesis of the idea: Hogeg asked Arbel for a simple app that would allow him to summon his personal assistant with the press of a button. After eight hours of work, Yo was born.

  (Yo)
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