Yo, the messaging app that lets users send a single word to other users, has grown out of its simple beginnings.
Following a $1.5 million funding round and a $10 million valuation, Yo received a fresh iOS update on Tuesday that enables it to do more beyond saying the word “yo.” With numerous clones available in the App Store, the service has added additional features to differentiate itself from the competition.
As part of the update, Yo users can now attach links to messages by copying a URL to iOS’s clipboard and long pressing the username you want to send a link to. A new Index feature provides notifications through Yo for your favorite websites and services as certain conditions are met, much like the way services such as IFTTT work.
While these features enable Yo to do more than just say one word, the addition of a hashtag feature allows users to say a whole lot more to users of the app. Hashtags can be seen through Yo’s official website so you can see just what’s currently trending on the messaging app, a valuable feature that could pave the way for branded hashtags from marketers. In addition, users can now publicly identify themselves with photos and real names if they choose to.
While the Yo app was initially derided by some Internet users as being a “stupid” and a “dumb” app, others believe that the startup messaging service is a lot more valuable that what it appears to be on the surface. The Wall Street Journal notes that key to Yo is that it provides direct access to the notifications display on a smartphone to any user or business. Since users constantly glance at their smartphones, the alerts provided through the service could be one of the most valuable pieces of media properties. With the latest update, Yo could eventually grow to rival competitors such as Twitter Inc. (NASDAQ:TWTR) as it aims to distinguish itself as a serious platform.