You may have heard of Yolo this past year. It became a huge hit in the US the week it was launched. It allowed teenagers to ask for anonymous replies to the questions that they posted on Snapchat.
However, it’s now been over nine months since the app was launched and it’s still got 10 million active users. Clearly, the Yolo app is not a fad. It’s here to stay for the foreseeable future.
Why is the Yolo App so Successful?
The idea behind Yolo is “fluidity to identity” according to co-founder Greg Henrion. He didn’t even realize the potential of the app until it took off.
The first huge win for the Snap Kit platform by Snapchat, the app has shown great promise. The reason for this is that it adds a new flavor to social media. It actually helps people counter trolls.
Trolls are on every single social media app. Anonymity has given them a way to hurt people without having to reveal their identities. However, this can result in the target of those trolls actually getting emotionally scarred. There have been multiple incidents where celebrities have spoken out against trolls and how they’ve been targeted.
This is where Yolo helps people take control of the conversation. The social app allows people to switch between an avatar and full anonymity.
How does Yolo Work?
The basic premise of Yolo is that it’s a poll app. It allows people to ask questions and people can post answers anonymously. You can post the answer on Snapchat with a link back to Yolo. Since the two are interrelated, the app works flawlessly and seamlessly.
Yolo usually functions as a normal messaging app. However, new features have been added which allow group chats. These can allow friends, or friends of friends to join. Here’s where the anonymity kicks in. People can choose to be represented by their Bitmoji instead of their names. Hence, when a common representation of you is on the screen, it puts distance on you.
However, the most effective feature is the Yolo Superpowers button. This allows users to send a totally anonymous message to a group once every hour. More Superpowers are coming to this feature, like an anonymous crush confession option. While some may find this juvenile, it is geared towards teenagers after all.
However, the best part of these features is that they privatize anonymity. That may seem like a double whammy of privacy, but it’s needed. Further updates that are rolling out will prevent adults from being recommended groups that are filled with minors. It will also work the other way.
This has made Yolo a great contender for a safe social media app. By making an app that promotes a safe environment to share views, it will encourage sharing more. This will help encourage conversations with greater vulnerability and greater honesty.
While this may seem extremely dangerous in a world with over-sharing, this at least privatizes conversation.
Are You A Concerned Parent?
If you’re concerned about your teen’s usage of apps like Snapchat and Yolo, you should read our article, “Are Your Kids Putting Personal Data At Risk?”