A mobile phone app start up has received $ 1 m in funding. Nothing special about that - after all thousands of start ups get funding. What is interesting is the nature of the app itself. It is called Yo. And what it does is that you can send a message - Yo - to any of your friends. That's it. That's all you can say - Yo. Apparently its USP is that you can say Yo in two taps instead of the 13 taps it will take you in Whatsapp.
I am scratching my head in bewilderment. Why would I want to say just Yo to you ? In comparison, Twitter seems positively garrulous. Yo is being downloaded like there is no tomorrow - it has reached the top 50 downloaded apps on the Apple store. For some strange unexplained reason, iphone users want to say Yo more than Android users !
Apparently this is the start of something called "contextual communication" ! If a world cup match is going on and you send a Yo, it means - Dumbhead; somebody has scored a goal; turn on the TV and watch it. If you get a Yo from your boss, it could mean get your ass up here right now, or don't be playing that game on your PC - get to work. Depending on the "context", you see. Wow.
This brings me to the whole apps mania. Apparently iOS is good because it has 1.2 million apps. I am absolutely sure that 1, 999,950 of them are utterly useless and inane. Honourable mention must be made of
- Pimple Popper - a game apparently
- Places I’ve Pooped - Globally with Google maps integration
- Drunk Dial No - which very helpfully prevents you calling somebody when drunk by disabling your contact list
- Paper racing - contest on who can roll up toilet paper fastest
- Tap that - It helps your phone do , er, "it" with another phone !
Not sure if Yo falls in this category, but I would suspect Indian politicians might want to give it some close attention. The current breed of politicos all have taken to Twitter with a vengeance, trivialising complex and major issues much to this blogger's irritation. Worse still, the irresistible Tweet button is extremely prone to foot in the mouth disease. If instead, they simply said Yo, well, there is no problem, is there? By "contextual communication" you can interpret it in whatever way you want. And the foot in the mouth politician can of course deny that he never meant it that way.
Amongst those cheering this app must be the Indian telecom companies. You see, contextual communication was discovered long long ago in India courtesy the "missed call". You simply gave a missed call and the receiver understood what you meant. Telecom companies are furious at this practice because they earn absolutely nothing from this. Instead, if your driver switched to Yo to ping you that he has arrived, well, the Indian telco would earn some revenues courtesy the pingers needing to use data connectivity. I strongly suspect Airtel or Idea might be behind the $ 1m financing to this start up !
In the new world of Yo, I suppose this rather verbose blog is an anachronism and this blogger a dinosaur. Perhaps he would go the dinosaur way and become extinct. Yo !