Daniel Tay
Daniel Tay
6:10 pm on Aug 6, 2014

Yo. Yolo. Oi. If these exclamations aren’t enough for you, here’s the next one-syllable notification app that just surfaced at a hackathon event: bark. Well, at least we’ve finally moved on from human noises. Bark was developed at the recent AngelHack San Francisco Spring 2014 by Notivo founders Sebastian Kim and Sungsoo Moon, the CEO of MyDrives. Here’s the kicker: Yo’s founder Or Arbel was the one of the judges.

Curiously, out of 120 or so teams, the duo still managed to make it through to the finals – this despite Arbel’s obvious and very public dislike of Yo copycats. Bark is very much a replica of Yo, with two major differences: users are anonymous, and barks can be sent only within a distance of a mile (about 1.6 km). Kim explains how it works:

Essentially it’s an app that allows you to pick a dog, and bark to everyone else with the app within one mile of where you are. We’re pitching it as sort of ‘the simplest form of communication in your neighbourhood’.

Here’s the notification receivers will see:

bark yo

According to Kim, this app was initially created for fun. “This is as much of a joke as Yo is,” he says. However, he also sees it as an experiment of sorts. “It could be an experiment to disrupt the general concept of online communication, and can also be useful depending on our users’ imagination,” he explains. Kim believes that a bark could mean almost anything, from “I’m bored” to “I’m home”, and could become a universal language for humans to communicate with. He describes it as such:

The Internet allowed humans to communicate with each other no matter how far away they are. However, it also made people talk less with their friends and family, and with their neighborhood. Sometimes we try, but often we don’t have many things to say. So what if you could just bark? When a dog starts barking, other dogs follow. We thought this could be the most effective way of communication. You don’t need to speak the same language. You don’t even really need to have anything to say. Because now you can just bark with this app.

Perhaps there is something compelling about being able to communicate without words. Already, 144 people have signed up, and 23,000 barks have been made within six hours of the launch. If you want to join the chorus of barking, you can download it on both iOS and Android.

See more: Yo, meet your Indian cousin, ZipDial

Editing by Terence Lee

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