What is Yodel?

Yodel is available on iOS today. You’re welcome to tap this link and start exploring, but read on if you need more convincing (even better, check us out on product hunt!).

Yodel makes messaging more like talking face-to-face.

A year ago we realized two things: (1) talking face-to-face is fun, and (2) we hardly do it anymore.

There’s a lot that separates talking in person, and messaging as we know it. The awkward smirks, the genuine laughter, the pauses before we speak, and the freudian slips when we do… all of this stuff, really human stuff, is missing from the way we talk on our phones. And we’re basically always on our phones.

This is the stuff that makes being in the same room as someone special and fun. It’s the stuff that builds empathy in us, and those around us. It’s the stuff we’re trying to bring back.

On Yodel, you can send videos, photos, and gifs to your friends, and as soon as they open your message, the app records their real reaction as they watch and respond. When you open their response, you’ll see the magical moment when that person first heard what you had to say. Videos ping back and forth on Yodel to create seamless, face-to-face conversations, that takes place asynchronously.

We call it videochat messaging, and our logo summarizes that pretty well.

Videochat messaging opens a new genre of communication. It brings together what was a separation between realtime, synchronous communication (phone calls, skype, or the rare actually being face-to-face with someone), and the world of deferred, asynchronous communication (whatsapp, snapchat, imessage). We toss these together, and throw away the synchronous (too difficult to schedule), and deferred (too artificial).

We’re left with realtime, asynchronous communication, and we think it’s pretty neat. Whether it’s a friend laughing at your haircut, a critic scrutinizing a new logo, or your family’s surprise when you tell them you have investors, there is something special about seeing these moments as they happen. It’s fun stuff. Really human stuff.

If you’re still not convinced, I refer you to Louis CK, who served as a legitimate source of inspiration for Yodel (Louis, please email me if you read this).

Yours,

Seth