• Yodomo

Yodomo vs Youtube: mismatch of the century or clever new social platform ready for the fight?

01 June 2017

How to do a Youtube tutorial. Step 1: Find whatever iPhone / Android camera you have to hand, or failing that, a dusty old barely digital camera (ideally, 240p output max).

Step 2: complement poor audio quality by placing camera as close to whirring air conditioning unit or buzzing appliance as possible. Likewise, compensate for low light levels by placing subject as close as possible (don’t be shy, really fill that frame!)

Step 3: speak softly, mumble often, and skip through all those boring details that nobody really cares about anyway.

Stitch it all together in whatever video editor is available, and bam! You’ve got yourself a classic Youtube how-to vid.

Except, one platform wants to change all that.

These newcomers are Yodomo, and they’re promising a better experience for lifestyle tutorials with their app, which aims to become equal parts editing software, and curated hub for quality aspirational content.

In their words, it’s “a new way for the maker community to create and share beautiful guides to creative skills,” and they’re hoping to launch later this year, thanks to early investment from AllofUs Ventures.

Let’s be honest, we’ve all turned to Google at one point or another to become our surrogate teacher / parent, asking how to do anything from making a quiche, to creating a fully operational Iron Man suit, to tying your shoelaces properly.

The problem is that, while there are a lot of excellent tutorials and insightful teachers on Youtube and sites like Wikihow, there’s also a lot of guff.

So a platform that provides some guarantee of quality would be reassuring to the many people who turn to tutorials to learn new skills and hobbies.

But it’s one thing to promise a highly curated, top quality stream of content, before the app has even launched.

Would that really be enough to tear us away from Youtube, Vimeo, Pinterest, or the myriad how-to sites?

The other question is, as usual, about money.

One of Yodomo’s key aims, according to CEO Sophie Rochester, is to “create revenue streams for tutors and other content partners”.

If these content creators can earn money from their work, it would strongly imply some sort of subscription model, or at the very least, a platform supported by ad revenue.

If it’s a subscription-based setup, then that’s going to be a serious hurdle to overcome to get viewers on your platform.

Let’s say DIY Dave goes straight to google to find out how to rewire a plug. He takes one look at the results – ‘3-steps’, hmm maybe; ‘5-steps’, too long, what’s next; ‘1-step’, now we’re talking… and suddenly, he gets slapped with a big old pop-up, “To view this tutorial, please subscribe for £10 a month”.

Next thing you know, DIY Dave is on his phone googling ‘how to fix a computer thrown out of the window’, after a moment of sheer outrage from being asked to pay for an online tutorial. The cheek of it.

Then there’s the ad revenue route, which, aside from having to compete with Google and Facebook for online ad dominance, also brings up the question from potential ad buyers: does your platform have enough people to justify me dropping some bucks into your platform?

From a maker’s perspective, albeit one with somewhat decent knowledge of video production, the app looks like a useful tool, with simple storyboarding and shooting features, trim and edit functions, and ability to edit shots with light adjustment or voice and text overlays.

What about people on the other end of the screen?

What’s the real stand out hook that makes Yodomo useful for them, useful enough to replace Youtube for their how-to go-to?

Yodomo appear to be banking on a more focused audience, tailored to the ‘makers’ market of creative crafts, along with cookery, gardening, and other ‘lifestyle skills’ along the way.

“Select and showcase the best, with an emphasis on quality over quantity,” as CEO Sophie Rochester puts it, describing the core vision of Yodomo.

But watching the promo video, the real hook may be simpler than that.

As simple as a voice activated pause, to help you catch up. A lifesaver if you’re up to your elbows in sourdough, or craft glue, or super-conductive electrical thermal paste.

Perhaps a little gimmicky, for an audience getting used to shouting at their Amazon Alexis to make them a cup of tea, or asking Google to advertise your Whopper for you.

But it’s a smart solution to a very down to earth, real problem.

And that little feature may well have been the deciding factor that got it financial backing.

In comparison to the Hughes family, who made the news a few weeks ago with their ‘all in’ approach to starting up their new sports-based social media app, Gameday Xtra, getting a solid financial backing sure beats getting rid of the job, and the car, and the family cat to fund your efforts.

Good luck to the family, we say. More power to them.

Although in an increasingly crowd-funded world, sometimes you can’t beat the old-school method of finding someone with a shit ton of money to back you.

Likewise, good luck to Yodomo. They’ll need plenty, if they want to seriously challenge the mighty Youtube for views and ad revenue.


Strawman Says

There’s no guaranteed how-to guides on making an app, especially for those like Yodomo looking to challenge Youtube in the tutorial game. But if there was, we’d imagine there’d be something in there about finding a backer to save you selling the family estate.