News & Views
Yo broadens its horizons (and vocabulary)

Now that the novelty of an app which only allows you to communicate with a single word is starting to wear off with users, Yo founder Or Arbel has decided to make some changes. He hopes that the updated app, v1.1.0, will demonstrate Yo’s potential as a channel for brands. “This version shows the real power of the Yo platform,” he says, “which is, at its most basic, a two-way communication platform between people, websites, brands, businesses and virtually anything that can connect to the internet.”

Users can now share URLs with each other, in a “saw this and thought of you” kind of way. The benefit for brands here is that they now have the ability to direct subscribers to content away from the app, where more than one word of the English language can be utilised. “News websites can now offer not only getting instant Yo notifications when a story breaks, but also attach the story itself and readers can open it in a frictionless and convenient way,” says Arbel. “When my friend posts a photo to Instagram, InstaYo can send not only the Yo to notify me about it, but also a link to the photo will open in a single tap.”

Hashtags are another welcome addition to the app. Yo gives the creator of a hashtag (a brand or a TV show, for instance) the ability to keep track of how many people are sharing it, which Mashable’s Seth Fiegerman describes as “a hint of how it may work with marketers down the road.” Another useful new feature for consumers is the Yo Index, which can be used to receive alerts for FedEx deliveries, new YouTube videos from your favourite artists, even earthquakes.

The beauty of the update, says Arbel, is that it brings extra functionality to Yo, but won’t prevent fans of the original version’s simplicity from continuing to enjoy the app: “If you look at the new version and we didn’t tell you about the new features, you would probably never see them in the first place. So, for the users that want to keep using it as before, nothing has changed. However, for the users who want to dig a little deeper, we added limitless possibilities of how they can use the app.”

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