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Yubo Adds a GIF Feature to Its Popular Live Social Discovery App

In today’s highly digital world, social media platforms have become wildly popular virtual gathering spots. The Gen Z cohort has especially gravitated to Yubo, a live social discovery app that boasts more than 75 million users in over 140 countries.

To provide its community with fun user experiences, Paris-based Yubo continues to add new functionalities to its easy-to-use app. Most recently, Yubo’s skilled developers brought GIFs online. GIFs provide users with another way to express their emotions during one-to-one chats.

Snapshot of Quirky, Animated GIFs

At its most basic, a GIF (or Graphics Interchange Format) is a digital image file. However, GIFs differ from static image files, as a dynamic GIF often features animation. Not surprisingly, users often insert an animated GIF to tell a joke or express personal emotion.

Here’s how a GIF animation works. Each GIF file can hold multiple pictures. The pictures load in sequence if they’re decoded in a specific way. This action is similar to the “movement” created by rapidly thumbing through the pages of an animation flipbook.

The GIF Format’s Intriguing History

GIFs are not a new Internet phenomenon. In fact, CompuServe introduced the GIF format in 1987 and updated it in 1989. For perspective, GIFs are about two years older than the World Wide Web. Today, younger generations have discovered this quirky way of expressing emotions or telling jokes.

GIFs Are Part of Yubo’s Platform Upgrades

Yubo’s new GIF functionality is part of the platform’s chat upgrades. Over time, these updates are designed to promote higher user engagement and a more satisfying user experience.

During spring 2023, Yubo introduced its voice notes feature. GIFs and stickers will also liven up the user experience. Enhanced photo and image upload interfaces will make it easier to add these elements to one-to-one chats. Finally, new “Edit” and “Delete” functions will enable users to revise (or remove) their chat entries.

Opening, Scrolling, and Searching GIFs

Once Yubo’s GIF functionality is live, users can begin adding these elements to their chats. Users can open, scroll through, and search available GIFS for the perfect animation.

Opening a GIF

Once the GIF feature is live, the user can easily select a GIF by viewing the GIF menu. This menu will appear inside the chat bar.

Default Opening in the “Trendy” Category

When a user opens the GIF menu, the “trendy” Tenor API search result should automatically appear.

Tapping the GIF Button Again

When a user taps the GIF button again, the default Tenor search result should display the minimized GIF view.

Opening a GIF in “Full Screen” Mode

If the user taps on a GIF in their conversation feed, the GIF should display in “full screen” mode (with a growing animation). The GIF will display on a black background (regardless of dark or light mode). If the user taps the black background or they tap the back arrow in the navigation bar, the view should close.

Scrolling a GIF

Tenor provides a list of default GIFs. This list should be displayed, and users should be able to easily scroll through it.

Searching Through GIFs

Users can easily search for the right GIF for their chat. When they tap the “Search” button on top of the list, their view should expand. The “Chat” bar should also be replaced by a “Search” bar, and the keyboard’s reverse side should expand. Note: When the view expands, the “Search” button will disappear from the navigation bar.

Tapping a Category

The Tenor API Categories should be used to view the remainder of the tabs. Tapping a category should make the relevant tab appear in yellow. The category’s search results should also be displayed.

Search Result

When performing a GIF search, each keyed letter should automatically produce results without tapping the keyboard “Search” button. When retrieving these results, a small OS native spinner should appear (instead of the “Search” icon). Tapping on the “X” should clear the search and bring back the default “Tenor API” results.

Reducing While Searching

If a user does not execute the search but taps the “Done” button, the “Search” button should appear yellow.


Instead of the word “Search,” the search input should be displayed. Note: If the search input is more than six letters, it should be truncated. Tapping the “Search” button again should expand the search view.

Sending a GIF

The user has multiple ways of sending a GIF to their chat partner. Users can transmit the GIF from various locations inside the app.

Sending the GIF From a Chat Suggestion

The user can send a GIF at the first “Hey” suggestion point. When the user taps on the suggestion list’s “Hey” option, the Tenor API Random GIF should appear as the obvious choice.

Once the GIF is ready for display, the suggestion bar should be hidden. Note: While retrieving and downloading the GIF, a small native spinner should appear inside the button.

Sending a GIF From the Menu  

When the user taps the GIF icon, the GIF menu should be displayed under the keyboard. If the user taps the entire chat bar again (not just the icon), the keyboard should again be displayed. Note: There will be a transition between the two icons.

Sending a GIF From an Expanded View

If the user taps a result inside the view, the result should be sent directly to the chat feed. Note: The GIF should keep auto-playing during this function. Afterward, the view should become smaller and retreat back under the keyboard.

Sending a GIF from a Minimized View

If the user taps a selection inside the view, the selection should be sent directly to the chat feed. Note: The GIF should still be auto-playing during this process. The view should remain in place, and the keyboard should be displayed on top of it.

Receiving a GIF

When a user is sending a GIF to their chat partner, this process should mirror any other user’s GIF transmission. During the transmission, a small GIF indicator should appear in the GIF’s top left corner.

Chat Feed and In-App Notifications

Special instructions apply for GIFs that appear in chat feeds and in-app notifications. In each case, GIF text and a small thumbnail will indicate the GIF’s presence.

GIF Indication in the Chat Feed

When a chat’s last message is a GIF, the GIF text should appear. A tiny GIF thumbnail should appear to the left of the label.

GIF Indicator in the In-App Push Notification

In the in-app notification, the word “GIF” should appear in the message label. In addition, a small GIF thumbnail should appear on the right side of the cell.

Yubo’s App Upgrades Will Promote Better User Experiences

Yubo continues to identify (and implement) desirable app upgrades. The company also has some innovative features in the works. As new digital technologies become available, the company will explore new ways to enhance its Gen Z users’ experiences.

About Yubo

As multiple social media platforms compete for the Gen Z cohort’s attention, Yubo has gained a growing foothold in this marketplace. Founded in 2015, this Paris-based live social discovery app invites users from diverse countries and cultures to spark friendships online. Today, Yubo counts over 75 million users in more than 140 countries.

Yubo’s Major Features Help the App to Stand Out  

In an increasingly crowded social media marketplace, Yubo clearly rises above its competitors. This forward-thinking social media platform maintains a twin focus on improving user experiences while prioritizing online user safety.

Focus on Friendship, Not User Metrics and Ads

Many social media platforms maintain a strong emphasis on “Likes” and “Follows.” In addition, users are routed to existing friends rather than receiving invitations to meet intriguing new users. Finally, these platforms funnel a steady stream of ads, products, and celebrity news to a virtually captive audience.


To make matters worse, some platforms sell user data to third-party vendors.

The Yubo live social discovery app is decidedly different. First, “Likes” and “Follows” are excluded from the Yubo platform, so users won’t have to worry about peer pressure and rankings. Instead, they can enjoy making friends with same-aged users from across the globe.

Users won’t be bombarded with annoying targeted ads, as Yubo doesn’t allow any advertising on its platform. Finally, Yubo never sells user data to anyone ─ period.

Two Popular User Communication Methods

Yubo users are invited to engage with others via two popular communication methods. One-to-one chats are ideal for getting acquainted with other intriguing users. Livestreams bring small groups together for lively virtual get-togethers.

Personalized Chats with Friends

Once two Yubo users become friends inside the app, they can jump into a one-to-one chat. Friendships are often based on common interests and even favorite foods or music.

Yubo Livestreams (or “Lives”)

Not surprisingly, Yubo live streams (or “Lives”) are the app’s most widely used communication medium. Each Live involves between one and 10 users who can stream at once. However, an unlimited number of viewers can log into each live stream and check in with live comments.

Thousands of live streams take place daily across the globe. Users can filter live streams by interest, language, or country. Streamers spark fun conversations, show off their talents, and tell hilarious stories. They also share opinions on newsworthy topics.  

Yubo Keeps Online User Safety at the Forefront

Yubo takes multiple steps to provide its users with safe online experiences. Besides using technology-based tools, the company integrates skilled Safety Specialists into its safety infrastructure. The respected Yubo Safety Board provides ongoing guidance on safety-related policies and practices.

Industry-Leading 100 Percent Age Verification

Yubo has introduced an industry-leading age verification system that estimates the age of every Yubo user. No documentation is required for the primary steps of this system, benefiting younger users who may not yet have an ID card. Instead, Yubo has partnered with digital ID provider Yoti to execute the system’s in-app age estimation task.

An in-app “live” photo and the Yoti liveness algorithm work to ensure that the user image provided is real and not a Google image or screenshot. Next, the algorithm estimates the user’s age and compares that to the age they have entered for their profile.

If both ages match, the user can access the Yubo app. If they don’t line up, the user must provide government-issued documentation. Users who cannot verify their age are prevented from accessing Yubo.

Industry-First Livestream Moderation

Yubo is the first premier social media platform to debut real-time livestream content moderation. The company’s sophisticated artificial intelligence (or AI) tool monitors the visuals of live streams second to second. In English-speaking markets where this technology has been deployed, AI filters also transcribe the live stream’s audio content.

In both cases, the AI algorithm is trained to detect inappropriate or harmful content. Concurrently, human Safety Specialists also monitor the live streams and intervene in real-time if needed.

Users who violate Yubo’s Community Guidelines, or display potentially inappropriate conduct, will draw the AI filters’ attention. The potential violation will be flagged to a human Safety Specialist, who will investigate to determine the necessary measures to hold the user accountable.

A user warning and removal of content are possible consequences. A temporary or permanent device ban, or escalation to law enforcement, is also on the table.                                                                                                                                                                                              

Real-Time Safety Interventions

Yubo is the first major social media platform to bring real-time interventions into its online safety program. First, Yubo’s proprietary algorithm is always scanning for sensitive or inappropriate content and harmful user text. If the algorithm identifies a potential problem, it quickly sends a pop-up alert suggesting that the user rethink their imminent action.

Yubo users also play a key role in the company’s online safety program. Each user can submit a report about actions that could violate Yubo’s Community Guidelines. When a user taps the screen’s shield icon and then taps “Report,” a Safety Specialist receives an alert. They will initiate a real-time investigation and take quick action if necessary.

The “Muted Words” Feature

Yubo users often gravitate to the app’s “Muted Words” feature. This functionality enables users to note words, phrases, and emojis they would like to avoid in live streams and chats.

The Yubo Safety Board Brings It All Together

Yubo’s expert Safety Board provides ongoing guidance on industry best practices and user safety protocols. The Board also informs Yubo’s response to specific online safety-related events.

The Yubo Safety Board is composed of global online safety leaders from companies such as the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Thorn, and The Diana Award. The Safety Board channels members’ knowledge and experience to help ensure Yubo’s teen and young adult users can enjoy safe online experiences.

Jeremy Edwards
Jeremy Edwards
On Chain Analysis Data Engineer. Lives in sunny Perth, Australia. Investing and writing about Crypto since 2014.

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