Maybe we should've known that a giveaway based around Yo might not work out so well. Lots of people (including a Vox Media employee) are reporting that they received notices congratulating them on winning on a Moto 360 smartwatch moments ago, only to be told that all the watches were gone once they tried to redeem the prize by entering an email address. And many of them reacted to the message instantly. Whoops.
Reports of the problem are coming in across Twitter, and complaints are piling up on Motorola's Google+ page. We've reached out to Motorola for more details on what went wrong — and whether the temporary "winners" can actually expect to receive a Moto 360. Originally the two companies said 20 people would be awarded the eagerly anticipated Android Wear device, but it seems like a whole lot more than that are feeling seriously burned right now. Was it all first-come, first-served? The contest's terms and conditions say yes. And if that's the case, the language used here, which very clearly made it sound like everybody won a $250 smartwatch, really should've been changed.
Update 6:15PM: Yo is putting the blame for this one in Motorola's court — or at least trying to distance itself from the mishap. In a statement, a spokesperson told The Verge, "Yo is a communication platform. Anyone can use Yo to send out notifications with links and use it the way they see fit. We are not running campaigns for businesses but we welcome everyone, including businesses, to use our platform and leverage it to communicate with their friends, family, customers or whoever they want." We're still waiting for Motorola's take on why it chose such misleading language.
Update 11:10PM: Motorola has apologized and responded to the furore in a series of tweets. The company is essentially redoing the contest, and will give away another 20 Moto 360s tomorrow.
We're sorry for the confusion. The language some of you saw in our Yo giveaway wasn't clear. So to make it right...— Motorola Mobility (@Motorola) August 29, 2014