News & Views
Conversations are overrated

Talking in sentences is just so last century. If the latest app craze is anything to go by, all we need to communicate with each other is a single word.

First there was Yo, the app which does exactly what it says. It enables users to connect with friends and family, simply using the word ‘yo.’ “Obviously the best app ever to be downloaded,” reads one review. “Since my friends and I got it, I have deleted my Kik, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and all my email accounts. This is the only thing I need in my life.”

Yo took just eight hours to code, and apparently came about when founder Or Abel was asked by his boss to create an app which could be used to summon his secretary. It has since raised over $1 million in seed funding, prompting Jay McGregor at Forbes to speculate that the tech bubble is well and truly about to burst: “The hallmark of a bubble about to burst is heightening in mania right before it all hits the fan. Say, for example, investors driving through Silicon Valley throwing bags of money out of a car window and watching penniless entrepreneurs scramble for cash to fund their do-nothing app.”

Such a novelty-based platform is begging for a parody, and iOS engineer Tyler Hedrick delivered that in spades with his Yo Hodor app. As we all know, Hodor is the loveable lug in Game of Thrones who is only capable of communicating by uttering his own name, the many intonations of which can express all kinds of dramatic tension. Fans of Game of Thrones and the Yo app have lapped this up, and over 100,000 ‘Hodors’ have been sent so far.

Coming next is, a messaging app which doesn’t even use words, just emojis. That’s right; ‘emoji’ is officially in the English dictionary, and now it’s all we need to relate to our fellow human beings. Co-creators Tom Scott and Matt Gray say they were inspired by Yo’s success: “Yo was the last mostly useless app to get a load of attention, so I guess we’re the next one.”

No launch date has been announced yet, but 10,000 usernames have already been reserved. Needless to say, these aren’t usernames as we know them, but emoji-only monikers. Most of the single emoji usernames have already been snapped up, but there are over 250,000 two emoji combinations still available, if you feel like playing your part in the devolution of humanity.

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