I first wrote about Yobongo back in early January when it was seeking more beta testers quietly sparking interest from location-based geeks. A lot has changes since then. Yobongo now has a new logo and is one of the most anticipated startups to open to launch for the general public to test along with being predicted as one of the breakout apps of SXSW 2011 on Quora and other news sites. I’ve been lucky enough to be one of the few East Coast beta testers of Yobongo and I must say the app is great.
Yobongo is founded by Caleb Elston and David Kasper. Caleb is former VP Of Product of Justin.tv and David is programming ninja. Yobongo’s goal is to make “it fun and easy to chat with people nearby on your iPhone“. By creating rooms based on your location, Yobongo will connect users to serendipitous conversations. For example lets say if you’re at a coffee shop, conference or university and launch Yobongo. Based on your location you would be “magically” placed in a room with other Yobongo users to start a conversation about what’s happening. From there you can leave the room and/or join other rooms or send private messages to have a private conversation with someone nearby. Yobongo is a chat app but with a slick and simple interface but has powerful functionality to live up to the hype and be used not only by early adopters but the everyday mobile users.
As Yobongo is prepping for public release they recently recorded a promotional video to show how you can “Yobongo”. Take a look.
There are still a lot of questions surrounding Yobongo as the two cofounder competes with other Location-Based Messaging Apps but between the current users and conversations I’ve seen in Yobongo so far I believe the app is a winner. For instance I’ve seen employees from Twitter, Zynga, foodspotting, groupon, along with bloggers and entrepreneurs such as Om, Robert Scoble, Louis Gray and Andrew Hyde using Yobongo. Just yesterday I had conversation with Boy Genius Report founder Jonathan Geller in Yobongo and conducted a short Yobongo interview as you can see below.
For Yobongo to succeed it will depend on the continued growth of mobile users starting off with the iPhone iOS platform, the social media/word of mouth buzz and early beta testers telling their friends. Yobongo cofounder Caleb Elston says “Yobongo’s goals is to create a stealer communication experience” and so far with Yobongo they have done just that.
Here are few more screenshots of Yobongo.
Yobongo is still in private beta but you can sign up for early beta at Yobongo.com.
After watching Yobongo commercial video, do you think you will use Yobongo?