Yo! Do you hear me? Are you clicking?

When the app Yo was released on April 1, 2014, its sole function was to send messages that simply said, “Yo!”

Since then, it’s expanded, and now media outlets are experimenting with Yo. A user can set up notifications so he receives a Yo when NBC Nightly News begins, or when Nieman Lab posts a new article, or when the Washington Post publishes an article about the NSA.

Economically, Yo is not doing well. According to Business Insider, in June, the app secured $1.5 million in financing, which valued the app at $5 to $10 million. But the app’s ranking in the App Store is falling. Which makes one wonder whether there’s a future for this, or are individuals going to continue to rely on individual apps for notifications.

Personally, I do not have many notifications working on my phone – the distraction from all of them can be too much. But I do use Yo for Nieman Lab and RainHour (it notifies you when it’s going to rain within the hour of your location). I don’t always open to know what the article is, and part of the downfall of just having it say, “Yo” is that you don’t know anything about the article. But I do know there’s a new post and I can get to it later.

During the Online News Association Conference, I did ask Trushar Barot of BBC World Service via Twitter if he has experimented with Yo. He was speaking about chatapps – think Snapchat and What’s App.

Do you use Yo? How? How do you think other media outlets could use it?

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