In an unusual retooling, novelty app Yo is now being used to alert Israelis abroad of rocket attacks. According to Hebrew-language tech blog Geektime, Yo is being used to send Israelis who are living abroad notifications of rockets falling in their home country. The notifications are being conducted by Yo in conjunction with the Israeli Color Red app, an unofficial, self-described “propaganda tool” that sends push notifications of rocket explosions. Following a recent surge in Israeli-Palestinian violence, the Israeli army is currently conducted an offensive in Gaza and more than 100 rockets were fired from Gaza at Israel within the past 24 hours. The two sides are engaged in the fiercest fighting since 2012.
Color Red co-creator Ari Sprung told the Times of Israel that users can receive notifications of rocket attacks through Yo; the app is designed as an informational tool rather than as a real-time safety tool. Beyond the fact that air raid sirens and radio alerts offer faster notifications than mobile apps, Yo’s push notification capability is still relatively limited. No similar app exists on the Gaza side of the border, but Twitter is in wide use in Gaza.