The Yubo app, also known as “Tinder for Teens,” was used by 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, the monster who was shot after he died on April 24. Read on to know all about this app.
A mobile-only platform – Yubo Social App
Formerly known as Yellow, Yubo is a social media platform that combines live streaming with social networks. The user base is mostly made up of teenagers and young adults. According to TechCrunch, the company stated that 99% of its users are Gen Z and are between the ages of 13 and 25.
Yubo was founded by Sacha Lazimi, Jérémie Aouate and Arthur Patora when they were engineering students at the CentraleSupélec Graduate School, Paris-Saclay University and Télécom Paris.
The French social networking app aims to “meet new people” and create a sense of community. It was launched by TWELVE APP in 2015 and is available for iOS and Android. The app has 50 million users worldwide.
In December 2019, Yubo raised $12.3 million in a funding round led by French private equity firms including Iris Capital, Idinvest Partners, Alven, Sweet Capital and Village Global. The funds will be used to develop its technology and expand its global user base.
Between 2015 and December 2019, app users made an estimated 2 billion friendships, exchanged more than 10 billion messages, and started 30 million live streams. In 2019, the startup generated $10 million in revenue.
In 2020, related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Yubo saw a significant increase in usage due to quarantined teenagers, with time spent in video discussion groups increasing by 550%.
As of October 2020, the app had 40 million users worldwide, 60% of whom were Americans and Canadians. In September 2020, Yubo established its US headquarters in Jacksonville, Florida. At the same time, Yubo opened a new office in London.
In November 2020, Yubo conducts a new fundraising, raising $47.5 million from its historical investors and a new addition, Gaia Capital Partner. The declared goal is in particular to strengthen the moderation and to open up the Asian market.
In addition, Jerry Murdock, co-founder of Insight Partners who has invested in Twitter and Snapchat, joined Yubo’s board of directors. In November 2021, Yubo opened a second US office in New York City.
Is Yubo safe?
The app is certainly not as big as Facebook, Instagram or YouTube. It’s not usually even listed alongside fairly new social platforms that have become extremely popular with Gen Z, like TikTok, Twitch, or Discord. However, after the Robb Elementary Mass Shooting, the app came under the spotlight and raised concerns.
Well, that’s not the only reason. In 2021, Yubo has raised a lot of concern among the parents of its target audience. Business Insider reported that a 26-year-old adult man was arrested in 2019 after trying to meet a 12-year-old girl he met through the app. Salvador was one such user, we don’t know how many more are running this app.
The app had many features such as face recognition and age estimation technology, Yubo has been surrounded by criticism for issues related to harassment, nudity and incidents between minors and adults. Salvador sent direct messages regarding the shooting of his grandmother and the subsequent execution of the brutal attack. So is the app really safe?
Tinder for Teens
Yubo earned the slogan “Tinder for Teens” for a while. The developers initially created the app to connect with Snapchat users after realizing that young people wanted to socialize on the platform. Noticing a market opening, the Yubo team created an app where Snapchat users could connect with strangers by swiping left or right, just like Tinder.
The shooter showed warning signs
Salvador Ramos was a regular user of this app. A teenager revealed the shooter showed anger when she turned down his proposal. He also told girls he was going to rape them, showed a gun he bought (sent a receipt for $2000) and threatened to shoot schools in live streams on social media app Yubo.
These users, who were all teenagers, admitted they didn’t take him seriously until they saw the sad news of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Three users also revealed that Ramos had threatened sexual violence or a school shooting.
On the day of the massacre, Ramos sent CeCe a message on Yubo to tell her that he had just shot his grandma Celia and that “I’m going to shoot the elementary school”. Nothing was reported by anyone. Well, if anything was reported, Ramos would have been on the police radar.
Yubo says it’s evolving!
Yubo announced new age verification techniques just a day after Ramos had already killed 19 students and 2 teachers. This was before the Uvalde gunner’s presence on the platform became public knowledge.
Earlier this week, Yubo also stated that it is consistently working on features and protocols to keep its users safe, such as: B. the AI-supported moderation of live streams and chats. The platform also doesn’t display ads or show users algorithmically powered content, two features typically found on social apps that can negatively impact teenagers.
Well, these efforts are enough. We’ll never get these kids back! What happened in Uvalde is unseemly. Who takes responsibility? Is it Police Chief Peter Arredondo who delayed the officers’ response, or is it the users who took this monster’s warning lightly? The mass shooter gets killed, but we have a question: are kids safe out there? Who would fix that? What are you feeling?