There exists an app called Yo. What does it do, exactly?

Yo is the hottest new app that will leave you scratching your head. The entire premise of the app is to send other users a single word: Yo.

Yo currently has over 50,000 active users, after launching as a joke on April Fools’ Day. Users have sent over 4 million Yo’s to each other. Without ever having officially launched, co-founder and CEO Or Arbel managed to secure $1.2 million in funding from a list of unnamed investors, except for co-founder, angel, and Mobli CEO Moshe Hogeg, who participated in the round.

If you think you need this like the hole in the head you just scratched, well, the idea here is not so much the Yo, but the context of the Yo:

You’re at a bar with your best friend and a love interest. Both put a hand on your shoulder when they talk to you. From the outside, it all looks the same. But there’s a big difference between the comfortable touch of a close friend and the explorative graze of someone you may very well have sex with soon.

The next morning, your friend and your crush send you the exact same text. It says simply “Hey.” From your old pal, “hey” just means hey. But from your sexy friend, “hey” can mean anything from “last night was fun” to “I’m still thinking about you this morning.”

As with anything, a “Yo” can just be a yo. But you’ll feel a very real difference between a “Yo” you get in the morning from a friend and a “Yo” you get at 2 a.m. from a friend with benefits. Trust me.

Last night after I’d drafted this, I got a one-word spam, and that one word was “hey.” I have no idea what it means.

If we have to have a single syllable that’s fraught with meaning, I nominate a better one: “Dude.”

(Via this Nancy Friedman tweet. It should be noted here that the Knights Who Say “Ni” were not consulted.)


  1. fillyjonk »

    19 June 2014 · 10:38 am

    I also like “Dude.” Because it can mean a lot of things, from approval to greeting to apprehension. (I’ve been known to say “Dude? Dude, dude, dude, no” when someone out on the interstate is driving in a really boneheaded way).

    I’m guessing the Ponyverse version of the app in question would be “Hay”

  2. backwoods conservative »

    19 June 2014 · 11:54 am

    If somebody doubles down on Yo, does that make them a Yo-Yo?

  3. Dan Tobias »

    19 June 2014 · 6:49 pm

    What exactly does the maker of a “Yo!” app need a million dollars in venture funding for? That seems like the sort of thing any geek could easily create in a night of coding in their mother’s basement.

  4. McGehee »

    19 June 2014 · 7:02 pm


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