I’ll be honest. I didn’t really understand SnapChat when it first came out. I mean, I understood what it did and what it was for, but I didn’t understand how it could make money or why Facebook would want to buy it for $3 billion. SnapChat has since matured. You can send money over it. You can post whole stories that don’t disappear right away. Organizations are using it to push content. And now it’s worth $20 billion. Shows you how much I know.
The same goes for Yo. The concept was simple, I just didn’t understand why anyone would use it for more than a day. It seemed like a slightly more social fart app. But people are still using it. My wife’s roller derby team uses it to a borderline-unhealthy amount. And now Yo has made the turn. They’ve gone from cheeky fad app to new entrant to the world of news. Yes, you can now get news updates via Yo.
The concept behind the Yo Store is that people will subscribe to channels based on their interests — be that news, listicles, cat photos, etc. But sports-related apps have a fairly big presence in the new store. The NBA is in already, as are some individual basketball, football, college, and soccer teams. CBS Sports has a channel as well. The goal seems obvious — to get every major sports team and league involved, offering full customization for the user. It’s a little odd. It’s a little new. And I think it’s kind of genius.
When you get a new smartphone or tablet, you are tasked with re-downloading all the news and alert apps you had on your old device. I always grab CBS Sports (the best mobile sports app, in my opinion), the Associated Press App, the New York Times, etc. These can all be replaced by Yo in the not-to-distant future. And that’s where Yo can have the advantage. It doesn’t matter if it’s the best sports alert app, because it’s the most comprehensive app to have for everything else. People just might convert for the sake of simplicity — a catch-all for their news, sports, and silly videos or whatever the hell. Surely people will keep their SportsCenter or MLB app for random staring-at-your-phone time, but it’s not hard to imagine that those apps will get used less and less as more options are available in Yo.
Listen, am I going to download the app? Yes. Is it technically for my job? Yes. Does that make it easier to swallow? Not really. I’m 32. I’m probably not in Yo’s demographic. But curiosity has finally gotten the best of me. Perhaps that was their plan all along.