For those of you who were hoping the successor to the Yo app would be a reverse psychology pinger called Oy, you have a surprise coming.

The creator of this minimalist appiness, Or Arbel, told The Wall Street Journal on Monday that his company is thinking about a business version. Adding 950,000 registered users in four days can certainly compel one to rapidly consider the followup. (Plus, read on for the announcement of another successor to Yo, by Dilbert creator Scott Adams.)

Ross Rubin, the principal Yo analyst at Reticle Research, reminded VentureBeat that the verbose-by-comparison Twitter was, in 2009, presciently compared by the Daily Show to a competing, fictional Grunter app. In hindsight, Grunter can now be seen as Yo minus the attitude.

“The lesson of Twitter,” Rubin told us, is understanding “the value that could be brought to such a constrained medium,” with forced creativity and embedded media.

One could be forgiven for thinking that the company whose business model is two letters long might target its business-focused incarnation at, say, those businesses where “yo” is a common form of address. Bike messengers, rappers, and college campuses come to mind.

But the company, Life Before Us LLC, sees bigger possibilities for this smallest textual handwave. After all, Israel, where it is based, is a small, resource-constrained country where every letter has to count.

“Our aim,” Arbel told the Journal, “is to develop the ecosystem around Yo.” He said Silicon Valley types are getting in touch with him about turning this into “a new way of getting notifications.”

Arbel didn’t spell out, in so many letters, the entire vision – but it apparently will not follow its bigger cousin Twitter to pictures, video, or audio messages. He doesn’t have to, since one can see the dream even from here:

• A world where you know your Starbucks latte is ready when the magic syllable arrives.

• An invitation to sample one of the proliferating frozen yogurt establishments. Yo?

• Random Yos sent as a way for a business negotiator to psyche out the deal maker on the other side of the table.

• An icebreaker for those business-oriented cocktail parties.

• The new New Thing in the enlightened business stress-reduction movement, a universal mantra.

“There might be a way for the context to occur out of band,” Rubin told us, so you know that, when the Yo arrives, your latte is ready because that’s what you’re in Starbucks for.

If that doesn’t work, some inventive developer might use the Yo API to attach a tweet for context.

Not to steal Yo for Business’ thunder or anything, Dilbert creator Scott Adams has announced exclusively to VentureBeat that he is going to create the next generation beyond Yo.

“I would like to take this occasion,” he told us today, “to announce my new app that sends nothing whatsoever.”

“There are lots of times when ‘yo’ is too much,” Adams pointed out. “For example, when your wife asks for your opinion and you know it’s a trap, even a ‘yo’ is a bad strategy. In many situations you want to leave open the possibility that you or your phone’s battery have suddenly died. That buys you time. Only my app sends the nothing that the situation demands.”

“And,” he continued, “what about those times when you run into someone whose email and texts you have been ignoring? It would be useful if you could say, ‘I replied seven times with the nothing app. Who is the ignorer now?’ ”


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