Today, we’re launching a new iOS version of YOU-app (Android coming in a few weeks) where adding a photo to an action becomes optional. It’ll still be the preferred way to complete an action, but an optional one.

We know this will raise some questions, so here’s the story behind this change:

YOU is approachable, supportive, and built around small actions

We created this app and community to be open and approachable – an easy way for anyone to advance their health and happiness!

The core YOU building blocks are:

  • Easy (but impactful) micro-actions
  • A supportive community
  • Low barrier to start


“At the core, this app is about small actions.”


Unfortunately, the forced-picture is slightly at odds with our goals

Completing an action with a picture has served us well – it makes the action more memorable and meaningful, hence likelier to make a real impact on your life!

BUT, it’s also the top-1 reason people do not start using the app.

This is what we hear every day:

“I don’t want to take/share my pictures” – Especially new users often feel like this and sadly, it has become a hindrance to start using the app.

“I can’t find a good picture, so I end up not doing it” – We get this especially with actions that deal with productivity, work and exercise.

But in any situation we wouldn’t want people to forego an action just because it isn’t picture perfect. Life isn’t always picture perfect, and it’s not the spirit of YOU.


“We don’t want people to forego an action because it isn’t picture perfect.”


The people we want to help most are the first to turn away

Now, it could be easy to shrug this off by saying “Not everyone gets it”.

But that’s not YOU. We’re on a mission to make a real difference in the world, and feel especially saddened when people who could really need this community turn away from it.

We have people who suffer from social anxiety or eating disorders who say “I’m way too self-conscious to post my pictures”.

We hear from people who feel suspicious about technology in general (for a good reason!) who say “I won’t add my photos until I know I can trust this company and community”.

And then there’s the people who deal with mental health issues who say “It’s too much. I can barely get up from bed, I’m not going to start snapping photos.” 

Every day, people turn away because of something as silly as a picture, and that’s simply not YOU.

A picture is still be the preferred way to complete an action

Now, don’t get us wrong: PICTURES AREN’T GOING ANYWHERE!

The picture is and will be the preferred method to complete an action.

Like Dr. Tara Swart, MD and Ph.D. in Neuroscience says: 

The picture makes the action more deliberate, and that’s important for sustainable behavior change


From forced-photos to discovering the joy of photos!

At the core this app is about positive small actions – whether that moment is captured in a picture or not.

We feel we have a better chance to help people find the joy in posting and sharing pictures when they choose to do it, not when they have to do it.

Here, we wish you active members of the YOU community act as role models – keep posting your pictures, then others will too! That’s the best way to show new community members the value of a photo – both as a social glue as well as a personal reminder of your action.


Hoping for a constructive discussion and many thoughts and feedback on this!

Your truly, the YOU-team