Yevvo is a platform for live social video broadcasting, whose aim is to let every user broadcast what s/he has filmed live to his/her friends and followers.
In this era of social networks, video as media still needs some kind of branding if it is to catch on. Recently there have been a number of different attempts to attract the ever-growing smartphone user community. San Francisco-based Mindie, for example, adds a soundtrack of your choice to your videos before you share them with your network. And it takes only seconds to post your video online. Another company, Ustream, has now capitalised on technological improvements in mobile ICT devices and the Internet to provide a ‘live streaming’ service to institutions such as NASA. Yevvo’s platform takes a hybrid approach by integrating video into open social networking but not basing the service on reciprocal action. The app enables users to send a live video stream from their smartphones which friends and followers can view and share in real time. Each time a user goes live, his/her friends and followers are pushed a notification so thay can choose to join the live broadcast in just one click.
How to monetise a free social app?
When some 3,000 students from four high schools in the Detroit area suddenly downloaded the Yevvo iPhone app last October, investors began to sit up and take notice and $3.7 million was invested in a Series A funding round in February. A social app based on a medium that has up to now been relatively little used needs impressive usage statistics to attract this kind of backing. In fact the number of users is not almost the most relevant metric for savvy investors. Yevvo prefers to underline the fact that app users spend on average 47 minutes on the platform every week. Nevertheless, while investors tend to focus on the statistics for each given sector, advertisers still generally look at user numbers. It is the active user base that will ultimately determine a platform’s commercial value, which is why ‘social’ apps often take several years to become profitable.
Instant, ephemeral video on social networks
The Yevvo team are highlighting the ‘live’ aspect and the fact that this is a genuinely viral craze. The app is being touted as essentially a form of ‘instant messaging’ service. While Ustream’s approach is to forge partnerships with major companies and institutions, Yevvo is looking to provide users with an extra field for social sharing. The two main settings where the app is used are concerts and some types of evening get-togethers. So the whole purpose is not so much to post content, as is the case for instance with Mindie and Twitter’s short-form video sharing service Vine, as to add a new dimension to social sharing. Moreover, Yevvo relies on the exclusive, personal nature of the content and its temporary, live-only availability, two key features of the newer social networks. The videos posted are not saved or archived once they have been live-streamed and the whole idea is to encourage users to display the live video, however much of an interruption it might be. And central to the whole approach is the ‘right to be forgotten’, which basically simplifies the management of data privacy on the Yevvo servers.