Yo, the simple iPhone app that lets users send a “yo” noise to each other, is hoping for a new lease of life. Hyped up by tech bloggers last year before dropping off in popularity, the company behind the app is hoping for some staying power as it introduces a range of new features.
Users can now send each other their location, a photo, and launch a group chat. The simple list of usernames has been redesigned: users can now swipe left or right to switch to location and photo modes. Users can also set up groups and Yo a whole group of people in one irritating fell swoop.
Possibly the most interesting new addition is the photos feature, which will allow users to send instant photos to their friends. There’s no filters, no options, no nothing. Snapchat found success with its instant, hassle-free photo messaging, but Yo has found a way to cut down the options and make this even simpler. The developers could be onto a winner.
The locations feature first appeared in modified form in October 2014. Users could hold down a username to send a Yo with their location instead, but moving the location function to a new tab suggests the feature wasn’t gaining traction as well as the developers hoped.
Yo was a runaway hit back in June 2014: it peaked at number four in the App Store free chart, before dropping off after the hype died down. In an interview with Business Insider in December, the developers said they planned to monetize the service by signing up businesses and getting them to send Yos. The new update will enhance this value by letting companies send locations and photos.
At its core, however, Yo’s appeal is still the instant, irritating noise you can send your friends. Once the novelty has worn off, it’s easy to forget about, and the app store ratings show how quickly users abandoned the app. If this new update doesn’t give the app some staying power, it may be time to say Yo to a different, more grown-up messaging app.
Yo 2.0 is now available on the iOS App Store.