Yik Yak, the anonymous messaging app famous on campuses worldwide, has officially shut down.
And although experts believe that the app was breaching teens’ privacy and was a place for gossipmongers and cyberbullies, it was extremely popular among millions of users. If you miss the anonymity or the simplicity of this anonymous chat application, here are the best Yik Yak alternatives that you should check out.
Why Look for Yik Yak Alternatives?
Even if you’ve never heard of Yik Yak, chances are you know someone who used it. The messaging app let users post short, tweet-like messages on a board visible to others nearby. Due to its anonymity and focus on local communities, it was extremely popular in university towns.
It’s true that college administrations across America have tried to ban the app, and it was completely blocked at middle and high schools because it was unsafe for teens. However, it was valued at $400 million by investors, despite not being monetized — so obviously it was popular.
What did users find so appealing about Yik Yak and why you might want to look into using similar apps yourself?
Well, for one, it’s funny.
Thanks to the voting system, users determined what they wanted to keep in their feed and what to get rid of. That made it easy to find the best (or most popular) posts on the app.
It was also local. You’d always be aware of any major events happening in your neighborhood.
And then there’s anonymity. While it was easy to misuse, some people felt more comfortable on the platform thanks to it. Some reported that Yik Yak gave them an opportunity to be themselves.
If Not Yik Yak, Then What?
There are quite a few messaging apps out there similar to Yik Yak. We compiled a list of those closest to the Yik Yak model that will make you feel like it never left.
The closest to the app in features and functionality, Jodel is one of the top Yik Yak alternatives. The app is completely free and anonymous. Enter your location to register, and you’re good to go.
The posts on the app are called Jodels and are divided into three categories: Newest, Most Commented, and Loudest. The first two are self-explanatory.
The Loudest Jodels are those that are most popular among users (the voting system is similar to Yik Yak’s). Jodel is already quite popular among college students, especially in Northern Europe.
Candid is another app where you can share your thoughts anonymously. When you register, the app will ask you for your Facebook account and phone number, but there’s an option to skip that, should you wish to stay anonymous. You can create groups or join ones that already exist. You can also add your school, university, or workplace to see the most relevant content.
Like in Jodel, the posts are divided into categories: New, Hot, Community, and Nearby. Additionally, the app supports messaging, so you can carry on the conversation with people you’re interested in.
It seems like the fan club of the anonymous chat apps has been divided in two: people who used Yik Yak and people who used Erodr. The general look and functionality of the app are pretty similar to others on our list. But Erodr is an app for college students only. You need a verified .edu email address to sign up.
Erodr also gives you more control over your feed than you get with other apps. You can set filters to only show posts from classmates, only men/women, or only people within a certain distance of you.
4. After School
Like Erodr, After School is strictly for students only. In order to start using the app, you have to pick your school and class year. Then you’ll have to log in with your Facebook account to verify that information. So you can be sure that your posts won’t be seen by outsiders.
You can choose to stay anonymous on the app or to reveal your identity. The app has a strict policy against bullying, abuse, and threats. And unlike Yik Yak, After School isn’t (yet) banned in American high schools.
Whisper could also make a good replacement for Yik Yak. Despite the majority of users being college students, the app actually consists of people from many different age groups.
Once you’ve registered, you can choose to stay anonymous. You can also create groups for your university to make it as close as possible to the Yik Yak experience. If you don’t want to limit yourself, you can take advantage of other features on the app like browsing posts by specific words or categories (popularity, location, and so on). You can also rate whispers and other users to tailor your Whisper feed according to your interests.
Who Are These Apps For?
Yik Yak gained its popularity thanks to the college students who found the app extremely entertaining and, in some sense, liberating. And although some of the alternative apps on our list are aimed at students only, that doesn’t mean that people of other age groups and occupations can’t find a use for them.
For example, take Lori Rozsa at The New York Times, a mother who used Yik Yak to spy on life at her child’s college. You don’t have to be a parent to see the benefit of that. If you ever find yourself wondering what people at your old college are talking about, using apps like Yik Yak is an easy way to find out.
And, of course, there’s the anonymity.
Whether you’re a concerned parent or a young person trying to escape your family online, you should be able to find a platform that suits your needs out of those presented on our list. After all, sometimes it feels nice to go somewhere everybody doesn’t know your name. Just remember to use your anonymity wisely (not as an excuse to be cruel to others).
Have you ever used an anonymous chat app? What did you enjoy about it? Will these apps will thrive now that Yik Yak is dead? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!