Marketed as a friend-making app for users of a minimum age of 13 across the globe, Yubo was launched in 2015 by French company TWELVE APP.
The app is efficiently designed; the simple layout makes learning how to use the app a quick process. Once a user signs up for an account or logs into an existing account, they are ready to explore the features of the app, which include live streaming with, chatting with, and adding other Yubo users.
Most notably, Yubo offers a swipe feature in which users are given a list of potential friends based on their location, gender, and age preferences, with closer users typically being shown first. Users have the option of swiping right to ‘like’ other users, or swipe right so that they will not see their profile again. This mechanism is very similar to that of Tinder, in which users have one chance to showcase themselves through various pictures and a biography.
Although Yubo is not specifically marketed as so, the swipe feature essentially renders it a dating app for teenagers. Using Yubo can be dangerous in that it desensitizes teens to online dating and encourages them to look for lovers online, based on appearances, instead of talking to their classmates.
As for its effectiveness in making friends, Yubo prevails in the sense that it offers a way for users of common interests to interact with each other. However, interactions are limited and typically only last for one day. Using social media to make friends is a difficult feat to begin with, but with so many users on Yubo, it is hard to really connect with people one on one.
Yubo fails in that it does not facilitate deep connections between people. Users are engaging in superficial conversations with others based solely on attractiveness; in a system like this, it means that most teenagers on Yubo will post only the best images and parts of themselves.
Another aspect where Yubo falls short is that some accounts may be falsified. With there being no real way to verify others’ ages, it is possible that users may lie about their age and pretend to be younger or older than they are.
Overall, Yubo is effective for those who are interested in meeting new people whether it be because they want to socialize to people outside of their hometown or because there are obstacles preventing them from talking to others in person. However, users seeking permanent relationships or friendships may be disappointed.
Yubo is available to download on both iOS and Android devices for free, and although its numbers continue to grow, as of December 2019, it boasts over 25 million users.