The internet may have made it easier to meet up with like-minded people online and in person, but finding them in the first place, organising group activities and maintaining friendships while navigating issues of personal etiquette and safety, can be a challenge even at the best of times. And the Covid-19 pandemic has made matters worse with its constantly-shiftinghealth regulations and restrictions. Fortunately, a new generation of apps is taking the stress out of online meetings, and letting their users connect with people who share similar interests in a safe environment. Anyone looking to chat and socialise with similarly-inclined users online should be interested to learn how the Yubo app helps meeting new people.
Meeting new people in the “new normal”
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been hard on everyone. Young people in particular are facing long-lasting consequences for their mental health and well-being, missing out on school, exams and countless potential job and apprenticeship opportunities… not to mention opportunities for socializing with friends and new acquaintances.Without the proper outlets, we could potentially be looking at a mental health disaster in the making.
As the pandemic has shifted, schools, concert halls, sporting and cultural events have all been shut down or deemed off limits to varying degrees. As a result, Generation Z – so-called for being born any time between the late 90s to 2010 – is spending even more time than usual on social media, turning to their smartphones to socialize with one another, entertain themselves and just kill time.
One company which has not only benefited from this trend, but also sought to address and counteract the frustrations it has led to, is Yubo. The French-based mobile app doubled its active users in 2020, with its audience spending 350% more time in livestreams on the platform during this period. Crucially, Yubo makes it easier to meet like-minded new people, and offers opportunities for socializing which have become increasingly rare in recent years.
How Yubo can help to meet new people
Yubo describes itself as a “platform that celebrates the true essence of being young” and encourages its users “to just be you.” Self-expression and fun are the name of the game here. It’s easy and free to sign up – just share some standard personal information like your date of birth, name and gender, as well as a photo showing your face. This allows the app to authenticate and securely sort itsusers into one of its two primary communities:users aged between 13 and 17, and users aged 18 and over.
The app allows its users to chat and socialize as they see fit. It’s up to them whether to talk to people they’ve just met or invite friends they’ve known their entire life to join the community. In fact, Yubo makes a point of rewarding users who invite their friends to join the platform via Snapchat, WhatsApp and other social apps.
Yubo’s swipe function, coupled with its use of Tags, helps you to easily identify people near you, or from all over the world, who share similar interests to your own and are looking to hang out online. If you hit it off based on your mutual interests, then the next step is to start a conversation using the app’s intuitive messaging system.
Yubo also lets its users hold livestreams with up to 10 friends at a time, during which they can chat, sing, dance and send messages to the people they feel the greatest affinity with. Yubo’s stated aim is for users to be able to socialize in a group setting – trading recipes, holding lip sync battles, comparing comic books, or playing parlour games – which they would typically do in person, were it not for the extenuating circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Another interesting feature is Yubo’s decision to divide users into a wide range of communities, from art to games, theatre, beauty, yoga, sports, dance, travel, manga, films, musicand LGBTQ+. The one thing these communities all have in common is an ongoing commitment to diversity, and to welcoming all-comers. This system makes it even easier to discover and connect with new friends from all over the world, based on mutual interests.
How Yubo keeps its users safe
Since meeting new people can be fraught with security issues, both online and in the real world, Yubo takes a no-nonsense approach to keeping its users safe, detecting fake accounts, numbers and photos using AI and proprietary algorithms. This allows the app’s moderators to verify the faces and ages of all users and identify disparities in all content across the platform, including livestreams, to ensure authenticity and security.
The moderation team, which is operational and available 24/7, says it collaborates fully with all relevant law authorities, and offers users a comprehensive reporting system to flagany inappropriate content. The apps management has also set up a Safety Board, drawn fromitsnetwork of safety partners and specialists, child safety NGOs and other distinguished organizations, to safeguard its users as much as possible against unwanted encounters. Meanwhile, Yubo’s Safety Hub compiles a wide range of resources and useful links on bullying, mental health and online safety,all of which contributes towards the wellbeing of its young users.
In an increasingly drawn-out and unpredictable pandemic, it’s easy to see why, now more than ever, young people are turning to online platforms in order to meet people who they can relate to and want to hang out with. Yubo may have benefited indirectly from the restrictions imposed on their users by a locked-down society, as their dramatically increasing userbase would suggest. But they are also looking to do something about it, and avert a potential looming mental health crisis, by offering their users a thoughtfully designed, welcoming safe space in which they can meet, interact, and socialize with friends old and new. And maybe, as restrictions are lifted and the “new normal” slowly becomes a thing of the past, Yubo may become a crucial gateway to real-world encounters as well.