Unlikely that you haven’t heard about Yo.
Perhaps even tried it.
Like most people, my first reaction – especially when I heard about its million dollar funding – was disbelief. Such things are plain wrong. There are cancer researchers looking for computing power who could have used that million, went a tweet, and rightly so! Sure, it’s gotten initial traction – very likely out of perverse curiosity than out of genuine interest. Interest in what, really, anyway?
All reactions were pretty much in that vein.
But then I stepped back and thought some more.
Whyever did it get the million!? I mean, nobody’s that stupid. And folks putting a million on this bet must have seen something. What?
Missed Calls! Now those are popular….
“Yo!” – that grabs attention. It says “Hey, I’m here if you’re free”. It could easily become an asynchronous trigger for initiating ad-hoc communication – the exact mode of which is left to the responder. Exactly what missed calls achieved.
Missed calls also let brands get back to people, and Yo can fit right in! It can also easily ping people in a location appropriate context to remind them, in case they’re already “friends”. Not that tough to see apps integrate to let brands incentivize adding folks to befriend them.
Acknowledge things with a single Yo!
Say you’re tracking a delivery. You say Yo, and they know you got it. Yo + geocode and you can let folks know you’re ok, and at a certain place as you travel. Yo can easily become – especially through its API – an acknowledgement protocol for a lot many use cases.
Just like missed calls have become a very valuable tool and business in India, Yo could in the realm of apps. With deep linking, it’ll become trivial for apps to use this to ping folks, send acknowledgements and even get a show of hands from within a group. Depending on how they iterate, Yo could even become the start of most ad-hoc communication on the phone, and maybe even the default app that serves as a communication nerve center.
It’s still incredible that this app was made, AND got funded. But somewhere, the one million – not a very big sum of money in the valley anyway – seems like it might just be a fairly decent bet.
Related : The Desi Yo Is..Oye!