MONEY

Yo! I Tried New Messaging App Yo. And Think I Know What It’s For

A new messaging app lets you send just one message. Which raises just one question: Why?

Yo, a free messaging app that allows you to send and receive only one message—”Yo”—has reportedly received $1 million in funding.

Which is crazy.

Granted, that’s not a lot of money in Silicon Valley right now. It’s like 1/19,000th of a WhatsApp unit. Or half of a ranch house in Palo Alto.

But is it even remotely possible that there’s something to this thing? Let’s play along briefly.

I downloaded the app onto to my phone. I set up an account, and then I got stuck on Yo’s basic problem (besides the whole “Yo” thing): Who do I know who might also be willing to join a social network that only lets you say “Yo?”

 

So I talked my wife, Kathy, into downloading the app on her phone. And then I Yo-ed her from across the room. She Yo-ed me back. I Yo-ed her again. She asked me to please stop.

I went out to the store to pick up some milk. Kathy Yo-ed me four times while I was out. And that got me thinking: Kathy has my total attention with this message. My Yo network is small—just me and her right now—and that means this one simple “Yo” breaks through the clutter of the emails, texts, Facebook alerts, Google+ notices (did I even sign up for that?), and HipChat messages.

Yo may be 24-hour fad, but maybe this explains why there’s always a market for new messaging tools. We’re looking a way to talk to a just-right-size group of people.

Nice sounding theory, anyway.

“Hey, you Yo-ed me,” I said to Kathy when I got home.

“Yeah,” she said. “I figured if I annoyed you enough, you’d get bored with this thing and I could take it off my phone.”

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