Yo, the inexplicable million dollar app that does f*ck all

Yo, the inexplicable million dollar app that does f*ck all

There's a new app, maybe you've heard of it, Yo. No, seriously, that's the name of the app, Yo. As in, "Yo dawg." Yo does one thing, and one thing only: it sends a contact a notification of "Yo." No message attached to that, no images, no context, just "Yo from RENERITCHIE". It took eight hours to code, and yet somehow it's sweeping the globe in monosyllabic fashion, and even more inexplicably has raised a million dollars in funding to do… what? Hell if we know.

Yo's interface is absurdly simple. Big, bright, colorful buttons with your contacts' user names. Tap one, they get a Yo. That's it. Of course, they'll need to have Yo installed as well. Hell, even Yo's icon is simple: it's purple. Yo is so simple that it was initially rejected by the App Store reviewer because they thought it was incomplete. Nope, turns out it's as feature complete as it could ever be.

So where does Yo go from here? That's a good question. Chances are the pure idiocy of the concept will lead to it being a flash in the pan. Yo only works if you understand the context. The message itself has no context, it's a call for attention. Some of the use cases being batted around include, say, FIFA sending you a Yo when somebody scores in a World Cup match, so you can pay attention to your TV and see the replay. Or, you know, FIFA could send you a notification through their own app that lets you know who scored, what the score is, and even tap it to open a see the replay yourself.

Yo is dumb. It's a dumb concept, it's a dumb use scenario, it's a dumb app. That it's taken on this bizarre life of its own is utterly perplexing and flummoxing. For all the great things that our smartphones do, there's so much stupid shit like this that just, I, I don't know what to say.

Yo is a cry for attention. Not from the user, and not from the developer. It's a a howl in the darkness, begging for somebody, anybody, to rescue us from this insanity.

But, should you really want to get Yo for yourself and see just what this nonsense is about, it's available for free from the App Store.


Derek Kessler

Managing Editor of Mobile Nations, Army musician, armchair pundit, and professional ranter.

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There are 32 comments. Add yours.

Stevenojobs says:

Ahah the concept is funny, just YO your friends ! I think I'm the first french guy to have it though, nobody to yo

Rene Ritchie says:

So dumb.

Which means it'll make a goozillion dollars, right?

PureView says:

Jeez. Calm down. It's almost as if you've never seen a dumb app before.


There are tons of dumb apps.

It's more about hating the concept of Yo (and what it symbolizes), rather than the app itself.


Donfuy says:

And woo! If its such a small app, I guess it's gonna be pretty fast to port it to WP too :D Can't wait.

T-Will says:

So dumb (but I downloaded anyway). :/

Mercifull says:

How many Yos is Rene receiving right now? Lol

Sent from the iMore App

emjayess says:


"Yo Rinny!"--Cheech & Chong

SockRolid says:

Oh wow. I just had a great app idea!
As in "Meh from Sock Rolid."

You could "Meh" your friends whenever there is World Cup news. You could "Meh" your friends every day of Google I/O. Ad nauseam.

msm0511 says:

I swear I read earlier on another site earlier today that somebody already made "Meh" app

kataran says:

Yo! From kataran

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Dx3me says:

This only shows how brainless humanity has become as of late...
If a company can come up with such a useless app, and through hyping it in the media everyone blindly installs it and telling themselves it's 'cool'??

- Sorry people, but where did it go wrong... when did humanity lost their last bit of sanity?? :(

Rowanova says:

+1. 'Nuff sed. :(

Sent from the iMore App

robogobo says:

It's nothing more than a reductionist commentary on the absurdity of social networking apps. When you say something on Facebook or Twitter or even SMS, are you really saying anything more than "hey" or "yo"? If you give it a chance, it's brilliant. The medium is the message.

heyjohnnybravo says:


Posted from my TARDIS!

NikoTesla says:

I predict that Snapchat will acquire Yo. Lots of synergy there.

dshanah says:

Not sure how they get a million bucks when app is free but anyhoo... Clearly the million is intended for development of a new version that will combine Yo! with a fart app, to create Yo! Farted!

Samsung'll buy them for gazillions when that hits the streets!

WPSteve says:

Flappy Bird was a "dumb game" at first. And look what happened there.

Sent from the iMore App

taylorh says:

OK, tomorrow I'm Making the "Wasaaaaaaaaaaap!" clone of this. As in Budweiser's "What's Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuup!" comercials in the 90s.
It would be fun for 5 minutes of nostalgia.

ArGiEs says:

The dev's description:

"The simplest & most efficient communication tool in the world.

Yo is a single-tap zero character communication tool.
Yo is everything and anything, it all depends on you, the recipient and the time of the Yo.

Wanna say "good morning"? just Yo.
Wanna say "Baby I'm thinking about you"? - Yo.
"I've finished my meeting, come by my office" - Yo.
"Are you up?" - Yo.
The possibilities are endless.

We don't want your email, Facebook, there is no search, no nothing. just Yo.

Open the app, tap Yo, that's it.

It's that simple. Yo."

That's the answer. People like crazy, stupid things, just because. Why do senseless memes thrive on Facebook (I. e. "Doge")? Why does some inane song go off the charts occasionally? Why do meaningless fads sweep through society (e. g. planking)? No Freudian psychology here - people just do....

RupMjee says:

This was an entertaining read.. Derek is funny. We need more article like this in iMore.


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robogobo says:

It's nothing more than a reductionist commentary on the absurdity of social networking apps. When you say something on Facebook or Twitter or even SMS, are you really saying anything more than "hey" or "yo"? If you give it a chance, it's brilliant. The medium is the message.

Laurent Gerdy says:

It's the ultimate Instant Messaging App for Hodor .... Yo (dor) ?

tlegend2012 says:

Why too personal?? There are tons of dumb apps out there , because people are lazy.. calm down.. it's an app.

Montgomery Gabrys says:

Twitter. 140 characters for a message. What a bunch of lluuuzers! It's a bubble and fad. Twitters gonna fold any day now. That's how stuuupid it is. Who would waste time on twitter anyway. Luuuzers. LOL.

Oh right ... the entire planet.

meruem says:

@robogobo Calling this app a "reductionist commentary" is giving it FAR too much credit--it's like someone squiggling a black line on a white canvas and le gasp, suddenly that's art. No. No matter how post-modern and sophisticated you try and sound, some stuff really does not have any deeper meaning, so stop trying to act like it does.

@Montgomery Gabrys While I myself don't use Twitter (so you know... maybe don't imply everyone does use it??), you can't compare an app that has a preset, single word with the 140 character Twitter limit--140 characters isn't much, but you can still say a sentence or two, and you yourself choose what you want to speak about. It's not much, but it still allows for some originality and creativity. Yo does literally nothing. Like literally, absolutely nothing.