Clear your home screen, and empty your app drawer – there’s a new messenger app that has the potential to replace WhatsApp, Instagram and Snapchat in one swoop.
It’s called Yubl (rhymes with bubble), and by the time you read this it should have just launched on the iOS and Google Play stores.
The colourful app combines one-to-one and group text chats à la WhatsApp, with square canvases you can fill with pictures or videos, just like Instagram – all split between private and public channels.
You’ll be able to message friends directly and set up group chats in the Private channel, or post in the Public channel for everyone that follows you.
The Explore channel will be filled with businesses, brands and fashion icons.
It’s the interactive extras that make each Yubl post stand out though. You can plaster each canvas with stickers and text that react whenever you or your chat buddies tap on them: a smiley face might turn and lick the camera, or an umbrella might pop open and protect a part of the image while rain covers the rest of it.
These animations are shared across everyone’s phone, too, so if one person taps an icon it’ll react for everyone it’s been sent to. It’s a lot more fun than Instagram, with bright graphics and neon colours.
So far, so cute and cuddly, but the interactive buttons could be the big reason to take the app for a spin.
Adding a button to a post can do one of five things right now; hold a vote between multiple choices, count the number of people that have pressed it, link to a web page, show a specific location, or ask everyone in the chat to share their location on a map.
Combined, they’re a great way to make plans to meet with friends, and could come in handy for businesses looking to stay in touch with their customers too.
Yubl’s got hundreds more buttons in the pipeline, including ones that tie in to apps and services like YouTube, SoundCloud, and even Uber. Snapchat-style self destructing messages are also in the works, but won’t be landing at launch.
Yubl is only going to be available in the UK at launch, but will be rolling out across Europe next month and eventually aims to go worldwide. It’s free to download and doesn’t have in-app ads, which the developer says will stay the case in the future.
We’ve been trying out a beta version for about a week and it’s a lot of fun. You can grab it right now, but we’ll have to wait to see if it can stand up to the combined might of WhatsApp and Instagram.
This article originally appeared at Stuff.tv