YouHoo, to be launched tomorrow, is an application that says it will change location-based social networking. The application is designed to help users feel the “vibe” of wherever they are by showing them who is around and giving them the ability to contact people in their area.
The app is available on both iOS and Android platforms.
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“Our concept is to merge reality with a social network,” explains Ohad Assoulin, YouHoo’s CEO. “Basically, it’s an application that turns groups of people in any location into a living community.”
Circles of friends
Youhoo allows its users to socialize with those around them in different ways such as chat, statuses and check-ins. Users’ profiles are based on their Facebook profiles, enabling them to see if people around them have shared interests or friends in common.
When opening the application, users can see themselves at the center of a virtual map that shows everyone within a 200 to 1000 meter radius. Each user shows up on the map as a square avatar – with photos taken from Facebook. Direct friends are outlined in pink, while friends of friends are colored in blue and peope with no mutual friends appear in white.
As a registered user, Youhoo’s newsfeed shows you all the people who came into and left your radius, as well as updated statuses from people in your area. “The idea is that you come to a location and you can get the vibe of what’s happening around you,” says Assoulin.
Since YouHoo profiles are generated from Facebook, all interests and likes, as well as personal information such as age or sex show up in the app. This means that users can check out how relevant someone’s feedback is for them. For example, if one user’s taste in music is similar to yours, his opinion about the show you are queuing up for will most likely be similar to yours. YouHoo also has a talk feature to help you. From each user’s profile, you can initiate a chat to actually ask about what is happening inside.
Another way to find people in YouHoo is through a “circles” tab. The application scans users’ profiles and sorts them into relevant “circles:” such as students at Tel Aviv University, reporters, or even people who like Pink Floyd.
A different approach to location-based social networking?
Assoulin says that other location-based services like Badoo or Grindr, focus on individual connections and others like Foursquare have become “coupon applications.” YouHoo, he attempts to emphasize, is trying to avoid this so-called dating scene. Despite this, YouHoo also offers a “YouHoo” button, which like the comparable Facebook “poke,” is a way to let someone know you are near and interested in talking.
Big business events
After a pilot program in Israel concludes, the application will have its official launch in the United States in Austin, Texas. By this time, a new feature that can potentially monetize the application will be available: the option to create events – anything from a flash mob to a game of beach volleyball.
This feature will be free for users, but will only be seen by those within their YouHoo range. Businesses will be charged to create events, but their events will be seen in greater distances, up to five kilometers. Such events could be launch parties or even discounts that are enabled once a YouHoo user checks into the venue.
The founders, Ohad Assoulin, his brother Asaf Asulin, Roni Tesler and Tamir Isack started developing YouHoo in September 2011. They are currently funding the project themselves. Assoulin tells NoCamels that they are in the process of signing with investors, but cannot yet disclose names and are continuing their fundraising efforts.