Yubo’s Gen Z Social Discovery App Fosters Global Online Friendships



In the online social platform arena, Yubo, the live social discovery app, is carving its own path in a crowded marketplace. Launched in 2015, this innovative social media platform has grown in popularity exponentially over the past few years mainly attracting Gen Z users ages 13 to 25. This global population cohort has its own culture and communication style.

On Yubo, users can connect and interact with others in their age group through livestreams, chats, and games. Users can also click profile tags to find others who share similar interests. Every day, users from varied countries and cultures find common ground and establish meaningful friendships. And in the process, users are able to expand their worldview and learn to respect and appreciate each other’s differences.

Naturally, Yubo wants its users’ interactions to take place in a safe online environment. This is especially important for the app, as its audience includes teenage users that are still discovering the world and learning how to socialize safely online. Yubo uses a combination of technological tools, human safety specialists, livestream moderation, and other measures to help ensure users enjoy socialising on the app as safely as possible.

How Far Does Yubo Reach?

From 2020 to 2022, Yubo experienced enormous growth. In fact, during this period, the platform amassed more than 60 million young users in over 140 nations. Much of this rapid growth took place during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic as Gen Z sought out friendship and authentic connection among peers during an isolating time. In addition to attracting new users, the app also saw a 550% increase in time spent per day on livestreams during the first year of the pandemic.

In only 4 years, Yubo has connected over 2 billion friends who have sent more than 10 billion messages. 30 billion livestreamshave also taken place on the Yubo platform.

Yubo’s Technical Details and Logistics

In 2015, Yubo’s Paris-based team launched the first version of the app, named Yellow at the time. New features were added to enhance the user experience and to create a unique app to help young people all over the world meet new friends online similar to how they would in real life.

Today, users can access the Yubo app via a free download through the Google Play and App Stores. If they like, users can also choose a monthly subscription that offers access to more features and allows them to better personalize their experience on Yubo.

If a user is interested in learning more about Yubo or if they have any questions, they can visit the Yubo website, which offers various Yubo FAQs, blog posts, and support tools. For Yubo, it’s important that every user has access to the Community Guidelines and information regarding its many robust safety features.  These can be found on the Safety Hub within Yubo’s website. The blog is also the perfect place to find out more about Yubo’s unique and diverse community and includes testimonials, insights into Gen Z, and the famous Yubo horoscope.  

Yubo’s Key Features

Yubo has distinctive features that help the app stand out from other social media platforms. The first being that it does not use any approval metrics such as likes or follower counts, so that users can instead focus on real-time interaction and socializing without the pressures of performance. It is also designed to help young people make new friendships outside of their immediate social circles, rather than connect them with existing friends in their networks or focus on shopping, advertising, or celebrity spectatorship. The livestreaming feature on Yubo is also different than other social platforms, as it is built for small group interactions, between 2-10 people. In addition, Yubo continues to show industry leadership in online user safety. In fact, it is the first major social media platform in the world to age-verify 100% of its users through its comprehensive age-verification tools and to introduce real-time video and audio moderation in livestreams.

Age-Separated User Groups

Yubo’s app caters to Gen Zers ages 13 to 25. However, Yubo separates them into different communities based on age to limit interaction between teens and adults and to mimic how they interact with others in real life. For example, it is not as likely that a 13-year-old user would hang out with a 25-year-old user in real life than other users in their own similar age group.

Separating teen and adult users also goes a long way in protecting the younger users, particularly against content or topics that are not appropriate or relevant to their age group. With Yubo requiring 100 percent user age verification, all users must prove their age before they are allowed to access the app. By implementing this precaution, it also prevents bots, scammers, and those with bad intentions from joining Yubo and preying on more vulnerable users, such as minors.

Two Powerful Communications Options

Users on Yubo have the opportunity to interact with others in two ways – via livestreaming or chat. Every day, these interactions bring global users together over common interests and experiences.

Livestreaming (or “Lives”)

Yubo livestreams (or “Lives”) have become the app’s most popular communication method. In each Yubo Live, between one and 10 users can stream at the same time. However, each livestream can be viewed by an unlimited number of users who can participate by interacting through live comments.

Streamers can showcase their talents, tell funny stories, engage in lively conversations, and share opinions about topics of interest with their fellow streamers and audience of viewers. Users can sort livestreams by country, language, or interest. Every day, there are thousands of livestreams around the globe for Yubo users to join.

One-to-One Chats

Yubo users can engage in personalized chats with others on the app. But they need to become friends on the app first before they can start a conversation. This gives each person the choice to engage in the chat with the other person or not. Each feature on Yubo is developed to facilitate new friendships, so users can either swipe to connect with others who share similar interests or passions, or jump into a Live and add people as friends directly from there.

Real-Time Interactions

Yubo is refreshingly different from other social media platforms and livestreaming apps. Other sites often generate a steady stream of content feeds and news, and users are regularly subjected to targeted advertising and sponsored posts. Beyond that, these platforms focus on connecting users to others who are already in their orbit, and “likes” and “follows” drive much of the site’s content.

In contrast, Yubo concentrates on authentic interactions, similar to those that would occur in real life. Instead of focusing on content, Yubo provides users with many opportunities to connectwith other young people from different social circles. Users also won’t encounter “likes” or follows,” which eliminates pressures related to these popularity-focused identifiers.

Finally, Yubo’s innovative business model enables the protection of user data. The platform does not sell user data or target users with ads based on their behaviors or search history. This allows users to focus exclusively on their livestreams and chats, and on socializing without distractions. Users know their personal data is not being mined for revenue purposes.

Yubo’s Overarching Focus on User Safety

Yubo considers online user safety its top priority. The company consistently upgrades its online safety features to reflect evolving trends and challenges. Technological tools, hands-on safety specialists, livestream moderation, and professional resources each play a role in Yubo’s safety toolkit.

For perspective, Yubo has become the first major social media app to require 100 percent user age verification. Yubo has also been the first social platform to implement real-time livestream audio moderation. Equally importantly, Yubo is the first social platform to use real-time interventions to help protect its users.

100 Percent User Age Verification

As of September 2022, every new Yubo user who signs up for the platform is required to verify their age before they can access the platform. And what’s more, users don’t need to provide documentation such as IDs, which allows younger users who may not yet have an ID card still go through the age verification process.

Instead, Yubo partnered with Yoti, the digital identification provider, to perform the age estimation used in this system. Yoti’s technology can estimate with 98.9 percent accuracy that a user is above or below a certain age threshold. This impressive accuracy rate applies to every gender, age, and skin tone. In fact, the Yoti technology also carries the coveted iBeta certification.

The Age Verification System Process

Completing Yubo’s age verification system sequence is simple, user-friendly, and fast. In fact, users never need to leave the Yubo app to complete the process.

First, each user takes a real-time photo of themselves within the Yubo app. At the same time, Yoti’s liveness algorithm captures a short video that ensures a real photo is being taken and that the person is not using a screenshot or image pulled from Google.

The Age Estimation Algorithm

Next, Yoti’s algorithm analyzes the photo and provides the user’s estimated age. The algorithm compares this age to the age the user claimed at sign-up. If both ages match, the user receives access to the Yubo app. If not, the user must present further identification documentation. If they can’t verify their age, they will be blocked from using the app.

Addressing Privacy Concerns Is Key

Yubo knows users of all ages value their personal privacy, especially online. For additional protection, Yubo ensures that the verification process meets the “privacy by design” protocols mandated by European data privacy laws. Finally, it’s important to note that Yoti’s algorithm can never link a real person’s identity to a specific facial image.

Real-Time Livestream Moderation

Yubo is the world’s first major social media platform to implement real-time video and audio moderation in livestreams. Its advanced artificial intelligence (or AI) tools filter and analyze second-by-second screenshots of each livestream for video moderation and automatically transcribe audio to detect any harmful or inappropriate content on the app. Human moderators (called Safety Specialists) also monitor livestreamsthat take place across the globe and can intervene and take action in real-time.

If a user violates Yubo’s Community Guidelines, or they are displaying potentially risky or inappropriate behavior, the AI filter will see the incident and flag it to Yubo’s human Safety Specialists. The Safety Specialist will receive an alert, following which they will take immediate action if necessary. Actions include user warnings, content removal, temporary bans, and permanent bans at the device level. If necessary, escalation to local law enforcement is also an action they can take.

User Safety Reports and AI Algorithms

Yubo users can also submit reports about behavior that may violate the app’s Community Guidelines. To submit a report, they simply tap the app’s shield icon and then tap the “Report” button. A Safety Specialist will investigate each report in real-time and take appropriate action.

Yubo’s powerful AI algorithms also remain on alert for a user’s harmful language along with inappropriate or sensitive content. If the algorithm detects an issue, it sends a real-time pop-up that suggests the user reconsider their actions.  

The Role of the “Muted Words” Feature

Yubo users can also control the content they view on the Yubo app. By selecting the “Muted Words” feature, a user can specify phrases, words, and emojis they want to avoid in user chats or livestreams. This prevents them from seeing textual content that they find personally harmful or triggering.

The Yubo Safety Board’s Key Role

To obtain guidance on user safety protocols and best practices, Yuboturns to the company’s respected Safety Board, which is composed of online safety experts from across the world. They are recognized as leaders in the safety industry and use their experience and knowledge to help Yubo be a leader in safety innovation as well. Yubo Safety Board members hail from Thorn, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, INTERPOL, and The Diana Award.

Promoting Digital Safety Through Partnerships

At its core, Yubo wants to help its Gen Z users to enjoy safe online experiences. Toward this end, Yubo partners with governments, NGOs, and recognized charities across the globe. Everyone shares the same goal: to foster improvements in online safety and contribute toward further industry solutions.