and recently launched for Windows Phone, too. The app searches the address book on your phone and then displays a list of your friends who are already using the app. Touch their name and, well, you know the rest.
It’s not something you’d expect to garner much attention from the tech fraternity, but in June $1m was invested in Yo by an angel fund founded by Moshe Hogeg, the CEO of Mobli. This was soon followed with enquiries by other investors.
Inventor of the world’s first widelyused web browser and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen jumped to Yo’s defense on Twitter where he said that the app was an example of “one-bit communication” – essentially messages that contain no information other than the fact they exist. He later added that it was also an example of an unbundled service that took one component of communications and focused on it, iteratively building a service from that point. He said that Twitter was another example of a company that started with a simple, unbundled service and then added functionality.
Where things got really interesting for users, and began to back up Andreessen’s argument, was when IFTTT – a service we have reviewed before in a previous issue of Finweek – added support for Yo so that it could be combined with other apps. So, for example, you could have IFTTT send a Yo message to all your friends in a specific town when you arrive there. The possibilities for triggering messages are virtually endless.
Investors don’t pump money into businesses without plans, so it’s intriguing to see Yo roll out its strategy. For now, it’s just a weirdly designed app with a single purpose, but it has started an interesting discussion and its creators clearly have an idea of what it could be become. For us, it’s just a way of grabbing someone’s attention. Sort of like Facebook pokes – for now.