Earlier this year, live social discovery app Yubo partnered with Hive to introduce real-time audio monitoring technology to the United States — and now it’s expanding the U.S. technology and introducing it to the U.K., Australia, and Canada. According to a press release, it is the first major social media platform in the world to tackle the challenges of real-time audio analysis.
While the technology is still in its early stages, and currently only targeting English language content, Yubo says its success can be found in detecting potential real-world risks. “Our expansion of audio moderation technology is not only a key element of Yubo’s ever-evolving safety product road map, but a critical development in expanding the parameters of online safety industrywide,” said Yubo COO Marc-Antoine Durand. “There is still a lot of progress to be made in the area of voice detection, but we are proud to be forging a path for our peers by being the first to launch audio moderation with Hive and helping make this tool more reliable and effective through this trial.”
According to findings by the Anti-Defamation League, roughly half of those who have reported experiencing online harassment say it occurred during online interactions, particularly where livestreaming was prevalent, and were targeted by voice.
This is where the partnership with Hive comes in. Hive’s audio moderation technology works by recording and transcribing 10-second snippets of audio in live streams of 10 or more users. The artificial intelligence technology seeks out phrases or words that violate community guidelines.
Flagged material is reviewed by specialists, who then investigate the language and determine what actions should be taken, if any. From there, the Yubo team may escalate the report to law enforcement or dismiss it altogether. The only transcripts that are kept are the ones marked with violations against Yubo’s guidelines.
Yubo first deployed audio moderation technology in the summer of 2022 to a small cross section of users in the U.S., and according to a press release, audio moderation keywords now trigger an average of 600 live streams per day for review. “Effective content moderation is a responsibility that we know firsthand is of the utmost importance to Yubo. We are excited to be powering its ecosystem with our technology and learning together how to make online communities safer through continuous innovation,” said Hive CEO Kevin Guo.
As an additional protective measure, Yubo leaders announced that it had also partnered with digital identity company, Yoti, in May 2022, making it the first app to require age verification for 100% of its users.
In a press release, Yubo explains, “Safety is a cornerstone of our platform, and we are proud to be the first social app in the world to introduce comprehensive user-age verification tools and real-time video and audio moderation for livestreams.”
The dual audio monitoring and age verification technology is not the only thing that makes Yubo a standout from its competitors. Unlike social stalwarts Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, there is the noticeable absence of likes and follows on the livestream-focused app. Instead, social discovery is the focal point. It’s not all about cool photos and videos. Like a modern-day, hipper version of ham radio, it allows Generation Zers to tune into others’ frequencies quite literally, and expand their circles in ways they perhaps wouldn’t do on other platforms. Yubo intends to empower the younger generation by making it easier for them to show themselves and connect authentically while exploring the app.
Yubo’s website has extensive content to investigate. Whether app users are looking for new ways to connect or meet new friends, engage with the world, or simply gain knowledge about different topics, Yubo offers different articles to aid Gen Z in learning about themselves and more. For instance, a recent blog post Gen Z and Voting provides information on the importance of voting while tying it to why Gen Z’s votes matter now more than ever.
Yubo is the brainchild of three friends, all app-savvy engineers, who sparked the startup in France in 2015. The trio’s passion for consumer apps has served them well: Today, Yubo boasts 60 million users worldwide. Investors are equally charmed, funneling 12.3 million into international expansion efforts. The app is free and available for Android and iOS devices.
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