Earlier this summer, an app called “Yo” swept the Internet. Even its founder, Moshe Hogeg, admitted the concept was “stupid.”
Yo is a one-tap notification app that sends a one-word message — “Yo” — to other users. There’s no nuance to responding to an incoming “Yo”; users can merely “Yo” back.
The app soared to millions of users in a matter of weeks. It was first app featured on discovery site Product Hunt. But an article in Financial Times, which claimed Yo had raised $US1 million, led to the app’s virality.
Yo became popular as a laughingstock — an app that does essentially nothing attracting investor dollars — and was featured on news outlets like Colbert Report and USA Today.
In mid-June, Yo became the #1 social networking app in the US App Store and the #4 app overall. Shortly after, Yo closed a $US1.5 million round of financing that valued the app at $US5-10 million. The app also opened its API to developers and brands started signing on to send followers notifications. For example, The World Cup sent a “Yo” to users every time a goal was scored.
Since then, Yo’s hype has died down. It piped up in September to announce 100 million messages had been sent on its platform. But a look at its App Store ranking paints a grimmer picture of declining popularity.
Here’s how Yo’s overall position in the App Store has plummeted since it was all the rage in June, just within the United States. It’s down to #1277 from #4 at its high.
And here’s how Yo has done in the social networking category. It’s still more popular than it was before the June surge, but its ranking continues to drop. It’s currently at #115 down from a high of #1:
Still, Or Arbel, CEO and creator of Yo, says his app is here for the long run.
One of the ways his team plans to stay relevant is to launch a location feature, which will be rolling out in the next few days. The new version of Yo will allow users to double tap the app to “Yo” their location to a friend or service.
If a user Yos his or her location to a service, they will receive recommendations, weather updates, news or other offerings from the partnering recipient.
“Imagine landing at the airport and double tapping UBER to get an Uber, then double tapping HOTELTONIGHT to get a hotel recommendation, and in the evening double tapping YELP for the best restaurant, all based on your current location,” Arbel tells Business Insider via email. “Also double tap RAINHOUR, so you will get notified if it’s going to rain in an hour.”
Imagine landing at the airport and double tapping UBER to get an uber.
The new release will also allow you to Yo from a locked iPhone screen without opening the app.
Yo also plans to capitalise on the Apple Watch, where Arbel believes simplified notifications like his app will excel.