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This messaging app has $1 million in funding and all it does is say ‘Yo’

In a world of tweets, status updates, IMs, plus ones, likes, comments, emails and Snapchats, things can sometimes get a bit noisy. Which is why something as simple as an app that just says ‘Yo’ to your friends is making waves.

To clarify: there is an app, called Yo, which exists for the sole purpose of messaging other people with the app to say ‘Yo’. That’s it. No added functionality, no photos, nothing extra.

The app is essentially comprised of one central stripy home screen which allows you to add friends (via Twitter, SMS, Facebook or importing your phone contacts) and then tap on their usernames to send them a casual ‘Yo’. They will receive a push notification and, if their phone isn’t on silent, hear the sounds of cute robotic voice saying “Yo”.

The brainchild of Israeli entrepreneur Or Arbel, the app has attracted US$1-million in funding from his former boss’s investment fund, and (according to the Financial Times) has gone on to gain more than 50 000 users who have sent more than 4-million messages to date.

It was devised after Arbel’s supervisor Moshe Hogeg asked him to design a simple app that would allow him to call his assistant without having to type a lengthy message. He later turned the idea, after 8 hours of coding, into Yo.

Using the initial funding round, Arbel has moved to San Francisco, where he’s hoping to turn the app into a starting point for a company centred around simple messaging. Speaking to Think Progress, Arbel described how it takes 11 taps to send a “Yo” on WhatsApp, but just two with his app, creating a way for friends and brands to share simple messages effectively. He’s currently working on an API for brands to use, which could some day see your favourite coffee shop sending you a ‘Yo’ when your latte is ready.

Yo is available on Android and iOS, and, according to one reviewer, has the potential to change your life “forever yo”. Download with caution.

Author | Lauren Granger

Lauren Granger
While studying towards her Bachelor of Journalism degree at Rhodes University, Lauren gave into her fascination with everything digital. As she was more interested in creeping tech sites and Twitter than she was in picking up one of those printed things called 'newspapers', she decided to specialise in... More

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