Freshman year, there were four social media apps on my phone that I would open daily: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Yik Yak. The first three I would scroll through absentmindedly, Yik Yak was a place where I would spend a little too much time. Every morning I would read all the top yaks and vote on them, and occasionally I would try to write one myself. Today, there are still four social media apps that I open daily, but Yik Yak is not one of them.
For those who never used the app, Yik Yak was a social media app where people could anonymously post short messages, as well as comment on others’. Users could read all the “yaks” posted in their area and either vote it up or down. It became popular around 2014, mostly among college students. People liked it because it was a good place to say funny things you wouldn’t normally say on your other, non-anonymous platforms. In Athens, people would joke about anything from lines in Bolton to something they heard on the bus.
The decline of poor Yik Yak started in 2015 when they introduced handles, removing anonymity and changing the dynamic of the app forever. What Yik Yak claimed to be a measure against cyber-bullying ended up creating the ability to identify and call out users. People immediately started deleting the app off their phone. As less people posted on Yik Yak, the less fun it became to go on and read the content. I eventually followed and deleted it as well.
In April of last year, Yik Yak announced that they were shutting down. I can’t seem to find their old logo on the app store, so it looks like the once beloved app might be gone for good now.