1. A free iPhone and Android app called "Yo" is tearing up the web this week, garnering an impressive amount of media attention after securing a cool $1 million in funding from angel investors.

    As of Wednesday night, the “single-tap zero character communications tool” had cracked the top 150 free apps in Apple's App Store, surpassing Facebook's new Slingshot app and several other juggernauts such as Vine, Dropbox and BBM. 

    It is currently the 75th most-downloaded free app in the Canadian Apple App Store, and boasts more than 50,000 users -- many of whom are dishing out rave reviews.

    Not bad for an app that literally does nothing but send the word "Yo" to your contacts.

    Seriously. That's all it does.
  2. As simple as it is confusing, the Yo app simply allows users to ping eachother with a high-pitched "Yo!" sound as well as the word "Yo," which shows up in a push notification.

    "You usually understand what the Yo means based on who you get it from and when you get it,” said Yo's creator Or Arbel to Think Progress. "The way it affects your life is profound.” 

    According to Arbel, who recently moved from Israel to San Francisco to work on Yo full time, the app took only eight hours to build in March. He's currently opening an office, hiring staff, and "seeking strategic partners" to help grow his company.

    "This is only the beginning,” he told the Daily Dot in an interview, calling Yo a whole new way for “how you’re going to get lightweight notifications.”

    Many around the web have been wondering if the app is a joke -- particularly in light of the fact that it was originally launched on April Fool's Day.

    Arbel insists, however, that it is quite popular among office workers and tech types. To wit, according to Think Progress, even popular tech blogger Robert Scoble has hailed it as “the stupidest but most addicting app ever.”
  3. But what potential does the app have beyond entertaining office workers?

    According to Arbel, the app could potentially be used in partnership with brands like Starbucks and Delta to communicate with customers.

    "When the Gap has a sale, for example, it would send you a Yo," wrote Think Progress about Arbel's ideas. "When your friend’s plane lands, Delta will send you a Yo. Arbel is particularly excited about the prospect of getting a Yo into Starbucks. When your order is ready, Starbucks could send you a Yo."


    Currently, if a user adds the WORLDCUP username to his or her Yo contact list, they'll be sent an automatic "Yo" any time a goal is scored.

  4. For all of its support, the app is also getting its fair share of criticism and mockery (see Gizmodo's Yo-filled Yo review.)
  5. Others are more concerned about the implications of an app that does very little earning such a large sum of money from investors.

    "That such an app was able to garner any funding at all, let alone a million dollars, has led many tech commentators to decry the 'tech investment bubble' that many believe is set to pop," writes David Shama of the Times of Israel. "The current situation, detractors say, is akin to the huge run-up in valuations of Internet stocks in the late 90s, running through 2000 that brought the NASDAQ’s amazing growth to a crashing halt."

    Think Progress's Judd Legum wrote similarly about the sustainability of an "economy built on seven-figure investments in Apps like Yo."

    "Maybe the potential of Yo is not in the product itself, but on the ability in a frenzied marketplace to quickly flip Yo to another company for a profit and move onto the next app," he wrote. "It was too many of those kinds of transactions — divorced from revenue or value of the consumer — that caused the entire system to crash at the turn of the century."


    What are your thoughts on the Yo app? Have you tried it?

Read next page