Yo, the simple app that rocketed to the top of the App Store charts in June 2014, is attempting to make a comeback with the launch of Yo 2.0.
The concept behind Yo is simple: You send the word “Yo” to people. It was that bare-bones simplicity that made it a hit.
Financial Times writer Tim Bradshaw called Yo “ridiculous” in an article that kickstarted a press frenzy over the app.
Now, Yo is hoping to recapture some of the magic that made it popular with the launch of Yo 2.0. The app is adding an interface for Yo’ing someone your location, Yo’ing them a photo, or just sending the word “Yo.”
Yo Photos lets users send simple photos to each other. There are no filters, text comments, or options to retake the shot — it’s a simple approach that plays off Yo’s bare bones messaging functionality.
Another new feature in Yo 2.0 is the launch of Yo Groups: group chats for Yo. Now Yo users can Yo all their friends with a Yo sent to multiple people.
Yo is hoping the new update will see it return to the top of the App Store charts. The app went viral in June 2014 as technology journalists mocked how simple it was. But users enjoyed the app, and it became the fourth most-popular free app in the US.
“It was pretty crazy. There was a lot of stuff to do,” Yo CEO Or Arbel told Business Insider in December. “What was it like? Sleepless nights. It was just hard keeping the service up, all the interviews, and everything together. Then we got hacked.”
A gang of hackers figured out how to gain access to the mobile phone numbers of Yo users. But instead of causing havoc, the hackers texted Arbel and explained the security flaw. Yo later went on to work with the hackers to fix security issues in the app.
But the app’s success didn’t last, and Yo plummeted down the App Store rankings:
Arbel told Business Insider in December that Yo was planning to introduce monetisation by partnering with brands to enable them to send Yo’s to their customers. The launch of Yo 2.0 will allow companies to send photos and locations as well as links through the app, leaving the door open for the app to start making money.