Social streaming video from your iPhone with YEVVO

Social streaming video from your iPhone with YEVVO

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We met YEVVO's 26-year-old co-founder and CEO, Ben Rubin, on a rainy day in Madison Square Park. Among the four of us (Ben, me, my photographer, and the representative from Ben's PR firm), we had four smartphones and the free app Rubin created.

"What if you were going live during this interview and then somebody [online] started asking questions and then [that somebody] actually helped to create the content?" Rubin asked.

From a reporter's perspective, outsourcing questions mid-interview to anyone anywhere holding a smartphone sounded a lot like a total nightmare. But to Rubin, that's just participatory media, something he believes reporters and nearly everyone else will soon embrace thanks to a company he co-founded.

"Have you seen my YEVVO?" he asked. "I'm YEVVO-ing."

Rubin made up the word "YEVVO." It's meant to appear all in caps but is not an acronym or an abbreviation. Rubin hopes it comes to mean: live participatory streaming video

"Every time somebody thinks: 'I wish my friends were here,'" Rubin said of the ideal time to use his product.

With YEVVO, anyone anywhere with an Internet connection can press a button on their phone and instantly see through the camera of a willing someone else's phone anywhere else on the planet -- one button inviting your world into your life in real time.

"We believe it could be a community," Rubin said. "It could be a way to express yourself."

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram: All allow us to share moments as they happen with audiences we determine. YEVVO seeks to do the same but it improves upon the immediacy of how we share, inviting the audience to interact during the creation of the content.

"Of course," Rubin said, "if Jay-Z or Lady Gaga would start to use it, they'd probably break our servers."

To invite viewers, one distributes a link to their broadcast via e-mail, Twitter, text, Facebook, etc. Like SnapChat, once the stream ends, the video no longer exists.

"There was Picasa and Flickr and then Instagram came and said: 'Well, there could be a community there,'" Rubin said.

Rubin calls would-be competitors like Ustream, Livestream and Justin.tv "beautiful product," but he believes none of those streaming services employ the medium quite like YEVVO does: less as a tool for enterprise and more as a participatory window into an individual's world.

"It's a way to bring people together to tell their stories," Rubin said.

YEVVO's a little more than a year old and experiencing 20 percent week-over-week growth. Whether or not his company evolves into the Instagram of streaming video as he hopes, Rubin believes the participatory media age is coming. And soon.

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