Sacha Lazimi, CEO and co-founder of Yubo
After developing social apps with my friends Jérémie Aouate and Arthur Pator at the age of 18, we created Yubo 2015. This platform allows Generation Z to create groups of friends online, around common interests, just like in real life. Today, Yubo has over 50 million users in 40 countries.
1- New generations are registering on social networks earlier and earlier. How to explain this phenomenon?
Gen Z is the most connected generation, and Gen Alpha (children born after 2010) will be even more so. These new generations were born with smartphones, in a world where social networks are the main tools for communication, entertainment and content sharing. Young people therefore believe that social networks are absolutely necessary tools in their daily lives. In a survey we conducted on Yubo with 4,000 users, 70% of respondents said they had their first mobile when they were 12 years old or younger.
2- What is Generation Z looking for today, through social networks?
This generation, whose offline and online worlds are intertwined, is showing new needs in terms of socialization. Especially Generation Z, which seeks real and authentic interactions on social networks, as well as the possibility of creating groups of friends who share the same passions as them. In another study we conducted, 73% of teens said they use social media to meet other people.
However, current social networks are basically based on content consumption, and on performance such as the number of likes or followers. These social platforms therefore do not meet the needs of these teenagers, which explains the success of Yubo today!
3- How does generation Z communicate through social networks?
Always connected, Generation Z communicates in real time and stays in touch with those around them at all times of the day. In this context, lives and video have a privileged place in the way this generation shares content online. All social networks today have developed functions that meet these needs. In fact, lives should account for 17% of total internet traffic by 2022 (Source: Cisco Visual Networking Index).
4- Yubo is a social platform intended for young people aged 15-25. Can you explain the concept to us in a few words?
Yubo is a social platform that allows new generations to create groups of friends around the world, around common interests. Our users can create or join public discussion groups where they share in real time by sharing their video, audio or via chat. Each discussion group gathers on average between 4 and 5 users, which allows socializing in small groups as in real life.
Yubo attaches great importance to areas of interest, as a tool for expressing one’s personality, but also for making friends who share the same passions. Moreover, the app has just integrated new features that allow users to add POI “tags” to their profile after registration. Everyone can also look for new friends who share the same tastes.
5- You do not identify major social networks as competitors. What makes Yubo different?
Indeed, we do not consider major social networks to be direct competitors. They are obviously part of the same ecosystem as we are, but their models are based on content sharing and performance. In contrast, Yubo offers a radically different experience. The app puts users at the heart of their experience and allows them rich interactions in real time, away from the race for likes or followers.
6- What are the challenges for a social network that mainly targets young people, sometimes minors?
As a social platform designed to expand our social circle, we must provide a healthy environment that allows our users to meet new people safely. We have strict Community Guidelines to ensure that interactions between users are respectful and closer to what they might have in real life. Any content that does not comply with this framework is identified and removed from the platform using algorithms that scan all visual and textual content on the platform, including Lives.
We have also developed a number of tools and innovations to check that the data in the profiles of our users are accurate, especially their age, as we separate minors from adults. If there is any doubt about the identity or age of the user, please download the Yoti partner app to verify your identity using an identity document.
7- What is Yubo’s ambition in the years to come?
We want to continue to grow our customer base, which now has 50 million users worldwide and 3 million in France, and to be recognized as a social network that allows young people to be their own, to meet, talk, share together in real time in safe environment.
To support this growth, our goal is to recruit and strengthen our teams to continue to develop technology to offer an increasingly innovative application and a personalized and unique user experience.