New Messaging App 'Tap' Aims to Be Even Simpler Than 'Yo'

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Senior Entrepreneurship Writer at CNBC
3 min read

The race to develop the fastest, simplest messaging application is on.

A new app called Tap -- so named because users touch their smartphone twice, or “tap” it, to send an alert -- will hit the App Store today. It allows users to broadcast their location either to their entire Tap community or just to one other specific user. The Tap location message deletes after 10 minutes.

The idea behind Tap is to remove the ritual of texting each of your friends when you arrive at a location. Users do not have to unlock their phone to be able to send the Tap alert.

Related: Viral App 'Yo' Hires Its Hacker

The Tap team is going directly after another simple messaging app: Yo. The Yo app allows you to send a single word to your friends -- bet you can guess what it is -- and does nothing more. While founder Or Arbel launched the messaging app Yo as a bit of a joke, it became an overnight sensation, and the app climbed very near the top of the hallowed “most popular app available for free download” list.

The appeal of the Yo app is not only its simplicity but also its context-based messaging. Receiving a “yo” from a friend at 3 p.m. is a very different experience than receiving a “yo” from a potential lover at 11 p.m. That sort of subtle simplicity seemed to really catch on and appeal to the smartphone-obsessed set.

Apurv Mishra, the founder of Tap, and his team are very aggressively marketing against Yo, alleging that the Tap app is four times faster than the Yo app. Check out the video demonstration below.

Related: The ‘Yo’ Explosion Comes Full Circle: Viral App Gets Hacked

Prior to launching Tap, Mishra invented devices to help people with low vision manage better, devices to help monitor health more efficiently, and what he called the “Glabenater,” a device which allows people in paralysis to communicate more effectively. Mishra is a decorated inventor, having earned a range of recognitions and titles for his work including being the the youngest member of the Global Agenda Council on Emerging Technologies at World Economic Forum and winning the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair Grand Award 2006 at age 14.

When reached out to Yo’s founder to see whether he had heard of this new messaging app intent on unseating him, Arbel’s response was simply, “I didn’t.”

The curious question, then, will be whether Arbel’s response will be the same in a month.

Related: Millennials Check Their Phones 43 Times a Day. This Is What They're Looking For. (Infographic)

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