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Yo! Is This A Joke?

Yo! Is This A Joke?

Every day I sift around newspapers and websites looking at what's happening in social media - new apps and success stories pop up everywhere. A few months ago at MOSH we had a good giggle at the app Livr which was heavily promoted on April Fools Day. I wrote about it here on Scoop. Someone spent an awful lot of time making a seriously good job of taking the piss out of new start ups. The premise was so irresponsible and the promotion so slick it was quite believable.

This week digital fingers have been pointing at Yo, a new app which apparently took 8 hours to build by Or Arbel. As with all fashionable start ups, there is a slightly smug shrug of how obvious it all is in the description of Yo!'s birth. Apparently Arbel, a former iOS developer at Mobli was asked by his then boss "to make an app with one big button that could call his assistant without having to pick up the phone or compose a text message."

The result is an app which communicates with your list of Yo! users by sending Yo and your username. That's it. There is no capability to send any other message. There have been reviews lauding its simplicity in an era of highly complicated apps. Yo! has even managed to raise $1million in venture capital and is hiring staff.

I can see why it would be mildly entertaining to Yo! your friends and the app claims it will be useful to receive Yo!s from shops to alert you of sales or bloggers to alert you of a new post but I'm not totally convinced. Some of the reviewers in Apple's app store clearly love a good joke too.

John C Mayer writes “It’s gotten to the point where I exclusively communicate with the outside world via this app. Yo has torn apart every fabric of my being and rebuilt my life from the ground up; I am twice the man I was and living the dream.” Quite. “Yo gives people an outlet for their goodness to be spread unto the world.”

Last week I was asked to write about Slingshot, Facebook's app to rival Snapchat. The main difference is that users need to send a photo before opening a photo they have received. Sound confusing? Yep, me too. All these new apps will need a good bit of time to see if they will amount to anything or if they are, indeed, real.


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