48hillsyo2

What we Yo about when we Yo about Yo

48hills, 6/19/2014

On Wednesday morning, news broke that a silly little app called “Yo” had raised $1 million in financing. Yo is a messaging application that only allows you to message one word: Yo. You select a recipient, and the app sends them a push notification that says, “Yo.” It took just eight hours to build, but the founder, Or Arbel, has moved to San Francisco and is hiring staff for the company.

Besides achieving (at least for now) that delightfully Silicon Valley-centric alchemy of turning nonsense into money, Yo is notable for its audacious assault on every stricture of syntax and language. Yo is a noun that refers both to the company itself and the company’s product (“Imagine getting a Yo from THEICECREAMTRUCK,” Yo suggests to users). Yo is a verb (“A football club can Yo the fans whenever the team scores a touchdown”) and the verb’s subject (job applicants are directed to “Yo us Yo”) or perhaps an adverb. I’m honestly not sure.