Newly launched mobile broadcasting app Yevvo has a different idea about how live mobile video apps should work. Instead of focusing only on a social model where users find and follow other people on the service, Yevvo users can also follow places in the real world, as well as events. Beyond its own walls, the app mainly targets the Twitter ecosystem and is designed to be push-button simple. One tap and slide and your entire Twitter network is alerted that you are live and on-air.
Yevvo’s focus is just on live video for now. Currently, only the broadcaster can save the video to his or her iPhone library when the video ends, but more options will be added in the future.
Today, there are, of course, a number of tools for recording and sharing live video. Services like Ustream, Livestream, Justin.tv, and Microsoft/Skype-acquired Qik led the live broadcasting spaces for years, targeting a range of end users from the everyday Joe and Jill up to professional broadcasters and businesses. More recently, Google stepped up its game here, too, with its Google+ Hangouts “On Air” feature, which lets users broadcast to the Google+ network, YouTube and any other website where the video is embedded.
But Yevvo CEO Ben Rubin explains that his company’s goal is to not just advance the technology around live video (a Google Glass app is in the works, for example), but also create a social culture within Yevvo where users interact around those streams. Watchers who follow specific places or people can like and comment on the stream to give feedback, or “re-stream” the live video to their own followers, similar to how users on Twitter retweet others’ posts on their own timeline, allowing for a more viral distribution of the recordings.
Rubin feels that with Yevvo, it’s less about being a tool for sharing and more about allowing a community to take part in an event in real time whether that’s a concert, a protest, or even a more personal moment a user wants to share.
There is, of course, a challenge in building a social tool like this, especially when it also somewhat competes with other social video apps like Vine and Instagram, which, while not supporting live broadcasting per se, are also fast and easy to use, giving a near real-time feel to the act of sharing. Yevvo only works well, at present, when you’re following a person or place that posts live video. Then, you’ll get a message that reads “So-and-So is On Air from Such-and-Such-Place – Slide to Watch.” You can do so to join in, but there just aren’t that many users on the service yet.
And if no one is broadcasting, there’s nothing much to do in the app at this time besides broadcast something yourself. (Features like Discovery by Topic are still coming soon, we’ll note). Not everyone wants to be a content creator – the majority just consume. This could be a problem for Yevvo, despite the app’s great design and underlying tech.
An Israeli company, Yevvo was founded around year ago, by Rubin, Itai Danino (CTO), and Roi Tirosh (COO) and has raised $500,000 in angel funding.
Investors in the company include Eden Shochat, co-founder of Face.com which sold to Facebook, and who has just raised $140 million for his new fund Aleph; Eyal Gura (who sold PicApp and PicScout, and is now a VC at Pitango); Ron Gura (who sold thegiftsproject.com to eBay, and now heads eBay’s social center in Israel), as well as Plus Ventures, EntreeCap, and other angels. (Plus Ventures led.)
The app is live (get it?) on the iTunes App Store here.