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The Wall Street Journal Says ‘Yo’ App Is Going to Be Bigger Than Twitter, Because ‘Yo’ Is Awesome

By / 08.11.14

Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 3.23.48 PM

And why aren’t you following BroBible on Yo yet? Username: BroBible.

I know a lot of people think Yo is joke, but when I first heard about it after Stephen Colbert’s rant on the one-word messaging app, I was pretty hooked. Just ask anyone who’s been Yo’d at three o’clock in the morning from the official @BroBible Yo handle (…I’m the one who runs it and usually I’ll just bang on my phone like a monkey after coming home from a bar in mild amusement). The only thing Yo does right now is send “Yo” to another person with the app. But it’s almost like an invocation for texting someone, since digital communication is silly enough to begin with. Because the barrier of entry is so simple, it’s like creating a no-strings-attached step for communication that literally implies nothing but yo. If you get yo’d back, cool. Maybe text? Maybe don’t? Who cares: It’s yo, yo.

In the Wall Street Journal today, Christopher Mims claims the messaging app — which has been downloaded two million times and has received $1.5 million in funding at a valuation at between $5 million and $10 million — could be bigger and more important that Twitter, even though it might be somewhat misunderstood right now:

Yo, says Mr. Arbel, is a communications protocol. Other communications protocols you may have heard of are text messages, email and Twitter.

At the risk of convincing the tech cognoscenti that I’ve lost my mind, I’m here to tell you that Yo—or a Yo-like service—is the next Twitter. It might even be bigger.

What you don’t understand about YO, via the Wall Street Journal:

Yo is even getting an app store, of sorts, where services that integrate with Yo will be featured. Presently, Yo-based services include one that will let you know whether there is a bike available at a designated Citibike bicycle-sharing station in Manhattan. Another developer figured out how to make Yo part of a secure system of login known as two-factor or device-based authentication, which I’ve advocated before: Users can “Yo” at their laptop from their phones in order to unlock it.

Or imagine getting a Yo on your phone when your table at a restaurant is available, or you’re next at the doctor’s office. Israelis can already get a Yo whenever rockets are incoming.

Sure, you could get these notifications via a text message, but many people don’t want to hand out their phone numbers to just anyone. Also, in most of the world carriers charge per text—hence the popularity of free messaging apps such as WhatsApp.

Why you need it, via the Wall Street Journal:

Here’s why Yo is important: Yo provides any person, business or Web service direct access to the notifications tray of your smartphone. Every time we glance at our phones, these are the alerts we see on our lock screens, and they also interrupt us whenever we’re doing anything else on our phones. Alerts, or so-called push notifications, are the most valuable property in the entire media universe, considering how often the average smartphone owner glances at his or her phone.

But wait, you say, a “Yo” is just that—a single, meaningless blip sent from some other random Yo user, carrying no information other than its source and the time of day that it was sent. That’s true right now, but the next version of Yo, which will be rolling out in the coming weeks, includes a number of improvements that will turn Yo into a legitimate messaging platform—more like a Twitter or a WhatsApp, but simpler in ways that distinguish Yo and could lead to new kinds of utility.

How it could be “the next Facebook or Twitter”, via the Wall Street Journal: 

Yo’s next iteration will let users send a link along with their “Yo.” And a forthcoming service that lets any person connect an RSS feed to Yo means every blogger, website and media outlet on earth will be able to send push notifications to their followers, including links, whether or not they have downloaded a corresponding app. I wouldn’t be surprised if “subscribe via Yo” became a button on articles alongside Facebook and Twitter share buttons.

I couldn’t agree more. Boom. Finally an app with mad-cheddar that Jesse Pinkman can get behind:

Yo is a booty-call text initiator and a possible new broadcasting platform. Yo is the shit and you should be YOing the BroBible YO quite regularly.

Our handle is “BroBible,” Yo 

[H/T: A. Isaac and WMSDiary]


TAGSTechYo
Brandon Wenerd
About Brandon Wenerd... Brandon Wenerd is BroBible's senior editor, guru of @brotips, and director of strategic partnerships. He joined BroBible in the fall of 2009 after graduating from Penn State. When he’s not writing, Brandon enjoys fishing, Phish, Philly sports, Dewey Beach, supporting live music, hot sauce, and beer. E-mail him with post ideas and news tips: brandon@brobible.com.

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