updated 06:00 pm EDT, Wed August 13, 2014
Hashtags, new profile options, links and a subscription service added to messaging app
Early this week, the ubiquitous messaging app Yo received an update that moves it beyond the single-word phrase that made it popular. In the 1.1.0 version of the free application, new profile options, links, a subscription service and hashtags were all added to give Yo some more communication options and perhaps more appeal.
Developer Life Before Us made waves with Yo, giving users a simple way to communicate with others by just sending the message "Yo." The app features a simple contact list that has minimal personal information associated with it, usually only a user name and the phone number associated with it. The company has received $1.5 million in funding, based on the success of the app.
"This version shows the real power of the Yo platform which is, at its most basic, a 2-way communication platform between people, websites, brands, businesses and virtually anything that can connect to the Internet," said founder Or Arbel. "The app's core functionality and simple interface hasn't changed. We work hard to keep it simple, and we take into consideration a whole lot of factors before adding any complexity into the app."
The updated features add some new functions to Yo, something that could be considered sorely needed if Yo is to evolve past being a novelty. While the accounts could be fairly limited in the information they held before, Yo users can now add their real name and photo. Swiping right on a user name reveals the information. This could make it a little easier for people to contact others in Yo, since they wouldn't need to rely on remembering user names.
Links stored in the clipboard can now be sent in Yo as well. A link is attached to a "Yo" to another party. To send a link, Yo users long-press on the user name and attach the link. Link attachments from users and subscribed services can be accessed from the notification center. Adding links opens up some marketing and service delivery options that previously would have been unavailable to Yo users.
To that end, Yo Index was added inside the app to grant the ability to subscribe to services without the need to go to the Yo Index website. The feature helps to push Yo into an area where it could be considered a single messaging hub. Websites and other outside services can be subscribed to, but the app can also take advantage of IFTTT and RSS feeds.
Hashtags have also been added, allowing users to create a hashtag of their choosing before sending it out across Yo. Users can track how many times their hashtags have been Yo'd by swiping right. Trending hashtags can be seen on the Yo webpage. Users can't search the listing, but hashtags with as little as 26 Yo's are listed.
The Yo update is available now for iOS and Android. Amazon's app store and the Windows Store still seem to be offering older versions.