No, Yobongo is not a way of life or a youthful catch phrase, yet. Yobongo is a new location-based chat application that is definitely turning some heads in the tech industry. What makes them different than all the other group chat and messaging applications already available for iOS devices? Reality.

“Be Authentic,” is the 3rd and final rule in Yobongo’s chat guidelines. “The world is full of places to be someone you’re not, this isn’t one of them. We value authenticity and honesty.”

The folks over at Yobongo, Inc. might really be on to something…

Imagine being at a sporting event and launching Yobongo from your iPhone to talk stats with a fellow fan before the game starts. Or a movie theatre, or a crowded bar. Think of all the places people gather by the masses, and how little they interact with the ones outside their “circles.” Launching an application that puts you in a chat room with real people that are really around you without the cheesy pick up lines and awkward introductions could mean more human interaction than you would think.

Only time will tell if Yobongo will catch on.

The application is available for download from Apple’s App Store for iPhone and iPod touch. And although it is a free download, there are some things you might want to know before hitting the link.

First, Yobongo is brand new, like just went live a few days ago. So it is only available in a few U.S. cities (New York, San Francisco, and Austin) for the time being. Second, to participate in chat, you are expected to provide your real name and a real photograph. Mix in the fact that the entire application is based on your location, it may not be for everybody.

Has anyone in the launch cities used this app or intend to? Or are there too many privacy issues? Tell us your thoughts below!


  • I’m wary of putting my picture online…. I’ve never done it before, not even for Facebook. I’m not going to start now.

    • Dude, you’re too paranoid. If you were absolutely conscious about your identity, you wouldn’t post comments.

      • James

        some people dont relish the thought of asians beating off to our pics while playing pokemon

  • Flexo

    I hate people too much to ever do something like this. Are you really THAT lonely, folks?

    • Haha, I’m definitely with Flexo on this one. Legendary comment.

  • STK10

    Facebook places with IM, what a concept!

    P.s there are other apps in the app store that already do this. For guys that enjoy the company of other guys, have a look at Grindr for example. It shows where you and other users are and you can chat and msg each other.

    Also i think nokia tried this years ago using bluetooth.

    I can see this working when youre at a club. start msging people, im drunk and horny someone take me home! rofl

  • tBahn

    This seems pretty pointless. I don’t see it ever expanding past the cities listed because frankly, who would use it? If ur at a bar and people are there just make conversation. If ur at the movies u shouldn’t be worried about who else is in there

  • TotallyBrit

    Yayy!! Stalker Central….

  • Pukka

    I can see this being a very cool feature however with a launch so limited and being location based I can’t figure out why it would launch in only a few cities.

    The concept is cool however the exicution was poor at most.

  • 00sigma

    I see this taking off, but it’s sad that people would go to a public event to talk to other people through their phone. Just stay home and save on the cover charge!!!

  • Wirehedd

    definitely a stalker’s best friend. I thought it was a way to get your ganja ordered through a delivery service or something with a name like YoBONGo. Know what I mean? 🙂

  • I think it’s intent was to spark conversation between people that may otherwise not speak. Or at a state fair “is the petting zoo worth it this year, last year was so disappointing” ” yeah lots of animals and caretakers to help out” that kind of stuff. the app isn’t in my current city, but the concept behind it is intriguing.

  • james blond

    and how is that different from using twitter with a related hashtag ?