Yo is now more than just, er, Yo

LAUNCHPAD: The ridiculously simple free messaging app is trying to target marketers.

by Rachel Savage
Last Updated: 12 Aug 2014

Back in June, it seemed like the world of apps was about to implode in on itself. Free messaging app Yo raised $1m (£600,000), valuing it at $10m. All it did was let you message your friends to say ‘Yo’. And that was literally it.

But now it looks like the Silicon Valley startup could already be on its way to monetising its user base – something more grown up companies like Twitter are still struggling to do.

In its new iOS app update, users can now add a full name and photo to their profile, which can be viewed by swiping right on a username. Should help friends struggling with the whole first name thing. More importantly for marketers, though, you can now ‘Yo’ links and hashtags.

Finally, ‘Yo Index’ lets users see all the services they can subscribe to, ranging from Instayo (updates when Instgram accounts you choose post) to Hardboiledyo (your egg has finished boiling) and the more serious RedalertIsrael (incoming missile alerts).

The app clearly has its eye on eventual monetisation. Founder Or Arbel cited the example of recruitment site Monster.com using Yos.

— Monster (@Monster) August 7, 2014

‘Granted, this is the simplest new form of interaction, but generating any kind of interaction with your brand is a big deal,’ he wrote in a post on open blogging site Medium.

And if Arbel and his co-founders can get enough people Yo-ing one another, they might be able to start getting companies to pay for ads or some form of premium Yos too.

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