The Legacy of Yo (the App)
This guest post is by Jason Edelman, Fueled.com
Sometimes it is the most unlikely of apps which become the most successful. This past April Fools Day, Or Abel developed an app, Yo, for Windows Phone, Android, and Apple products. The app only does one simple, fun thing; you send the word “yo” to your friends.
What Abel didn’t know was just how successful this simple idea would be. After release, Yo was a small sensation and attracted the attention of investors and received a million dollars to develop the app further. This initial success allowed Abel to leave his job and go work full-time on Yo.
The app continued to grow and caught the attention of industry giants such as Dan Leveille who first posted the app on Product Hunt May 19, a month before news of the app hit Twitter as well as other tech publications, which brought Yo mainstream attention.
This attention brought about new iterations of Yo. A new app (which has since been shut down) called “Yo, Hodor” appeared, which allowed users to send a simple ‘Hodor’ to their friends. Viewers of the hit HBO show Game of Thrones, will recognize this as the catchphrase (and really only phrase) of fan-favorite character Hodor, who is able to only say the word “Hodor.” The concept was the same but, with the novelty of a popular television series. Likely due to legal reasons, the app no longer exists, but it shows the power applications this seemingly simple idea has.
Perhaps the most interesting use of the Yo app, has been during the recent turmoil in the Middle East. Israeli developers, using Yo created an app known as RedAlertIsrael to warn of incoming missile strikes into Israel from Hamas terrorists. What started out as a joke, eventually became a crucial life-saving device for those living under fire. It’s a strange evolution for the application but nonetheless, it shows the extent to which even the simplest of ideas can be taken.
In situations where less is more, the sparseness of the app, coupled with its ease of use, draws people to it, and to the idea behind it. Many social networks are becoming increasingly more complicated to use, filled with information, pictures, biographies and so much more. Sometimes all you want to do is say “yo!”