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Saturday 20 September 2014

Yo app: $1m in funding and all it does is send word to your contacts

Matthew Sparkes

Published 19/06/2014 | 13:36

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It does nothing but send the word "Yo" to your contacts but has raised $1m in funding and has 50,000 users - is this the clearest symbol yet of an inflating tech bubble?

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An app which does nothing but send the word "Yo" to your contacts has raised $1m in funding and garnered more than 50,000 users - perhaps the clearest symbol yet of an inflating tech bubble.

When users receive a "Yo" they also hear a recording of the word being spoken. The service calls itself a “single-tap zero character communications tool”.

The founder of the company behind the app, Or Arbel, has reportedly relocated from Israel to San Francisco to develop it further. He claims that the app has a "profound" affect on your life once you start to use it.

It reportedly took just eight hours to build, which is apparent when you try to use it. When attempting to sign up we were told that our first choice of username was taken and were prompted to enter another - but the previous username remained on screen and created a garbled mess when more text was entered that became impossible to read.

Even entering a particularly complex username that was unlikely to have been chosen before, we were unable to register an account.

Nonetheless, many users have managed to get it working and some think it extremely addictive.

Robert Scoble, the technology blogger, called it the “the stupidest but most addicting app ever”.

It is thought that the app had 50,000 users and that four million 'Yos' had already been sent as of June 17.

The app also offers an API so that third party developers can tie-in to it and create new services. For example, users who add the user WORLDCUP can now receive a Yo whenever a team scores a goal - but it will not be able to tell them which game it was scored in, or by which team.

It is entirely unclear how the app, the company or the investors who poured $1m into it intend to make revenue. There is no advertising and no subscription.

Telegraph.co.uk

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