Investors pump $1m into app that only says Yo

Investors have plunged some $1 million [£586,727] into app that took just eight hours to make and only allows users to send one word to each other in the form of a push notification.

Simplicity is at the heart of Yo and, even though it only allows the word “Yo” to be sent to friends, Or Arbel, the app’s inventor, is totally serious when he said that the “context-based communications” it offers is the future of messaging.

Arbel, who convinced investors to raise $1 million [£586,727], moved from Israel to set up shop in San Francisco to work on Yo full time and plans to open an office, hire staff and build partnerships with “strategic partners”.

The proof is in the pudding as the app, which was initially rejected by the Apple App Store due to being unfinished, has attracted over 50,000 users that have sent four million Yo’s and it moved tech evangelist Robert Scoble to call it “the stupidest but most addicting app ever”, according to ThinkProgress.org.

Arbel explained that once it gets into an office “it goes viral” and has been particularly popular among other startups such as Kickstarter and Four Square. He added “you usually understand what the Yo means based on who you get it from and when you get it.”

Arbel thinks that the future of the app will rest in an API that is being developed to allow the service to partner with brands thus letting companies send a Yo when something of interest is happening. For example when a friend’s plane lands Delta would send a Yo or Starbucks could send a Yo to your device when an order is ready.

Time will tell whether the efficient approach takes off and in the meantime try it out in your office or among your friends to see whether it “goes viral”.