Shalom Life | July 01, 2014

Say Yo! Why This Ridiculously Simple Israeli App Is Going Viral

‘Yo’, ‘Sup’, ‘How’s it going’? They may be grammatically challenged, but these simple phrases are pretty much all there is to the Yo! application that is quickly becoming viral.

By: Maya Yarowsky, NoCamels

Published: June 20th, 2014 in Business » World

‘Yo’, ‘Sup’, ‘How’s it going’? They may be grammatically challenged, but these simple phrases are pretty much all there is to the Yo! application that is quickly becoming viral. NoCamels spoke with Or Arbel, one of the three founders of Yo! – which already raised $1 million – to find out why this seemingly ridiculous idea is winning major points for its simple genius.

First, a little explaining on how Yo! works (it won’t take too long). Once you download the app on iOS or Android, Yo! is able to sort through your contacts to see which friends and family members have already installed the app and can receive Yo! alerts. Then, whenever and wherever you feel like it, you can send a Yo! notification to one of the brightly colored names that appears on the screen. And. That’s. It. Of course, the person on the other side can say Yo! back, but the conversation won’t go any further than that.

So how did Or and his partners, Moshe Hogeg (CEO of the popular social photo and video-sharing app Mobli) and American Phil Hars come up with the idea for what at first glance appears to be a joke of an application? Orr explains, “Moshe wanted me to build him an app that would allow him to connect quickly and directly with his assistant to let her know that she is needed in the office. At first I didn’t really understand what he wanted from me, but then I realized that a lot of my communication with my own friends is just a quick shoutout like ‘yo!’. Once we released the pilot version of the app and realized how much buzz was building around it, we decided to take it to the masses.”

The real reason behind Yo’s success

Or believes that the main reason that Yo! has become so wildly popular is its simple and fun design. The other, is that deep down, many of us don’t have the time or energy for long, drawn-out conversation of ‘How are you’ and ‘What’s the weather like?’, and just want to quickly connect with someone to let them know we are thinking about them or need their attention. In some ways, many of us have already sent out “Yo!” messages to friends when we “Poke” them on Facebook (although that feature has somewhat run its course).

This article was first published on NoCamels – Israeli Innovation News and was re-posted with permission. To continue reading this article on the site, click here.

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