Yik Yak, the anonymous messaging app beloved and loathed on university campuses in equal measures, is no more. The company is currently winding down the app, leaving gossipmongers and cyberbullies with one less app to ply their trade. Will anyone miss Yik Yak? Probably not.
Yik Yak launched in 2013 with the promise of letting people communicate with those around them. Anonymous users could talk to other anonymous users in a defined radius. Which made it perfect for university campuses where gossip is a commodity. So much so that Yik Yak raked in over $70 million worth of funding, at one point being valued at almost $400 million.
Fast-forward to today, when Yik Yik is being killed off by the people who created it.
Characters From a Dickens Novel
Yik Yak co-founders Tyler Droll & Brooks Buffington, who sound like characters from a Dickens novel, announced the app was being shuttered in a rather upbeat blog post. After proclaiming that Yik Yak was “lucky to have the most passionate users on the planet,” Droll and Buffington announced that they’ve decided to make their “next moves as a company”.
To that end the pair announced that, “We’ll begin winding down the Yik Yak app over the coming week as we start tinkering around with what’s ahead for our brand, our technology, and ourselves.” Before closing by pronouncing, “We’ve loved being part of your college experience over the past four school years.”
Those four years saw Yik Yak mired in controversy. Offering users anonymity meant the app was utilized by cyberbullies intent on wrecking people’s lives. People could literally make stuff up about someone, and, thanks to Yik Yak, that falsehood would spread across a campus like wildfire. Things got so bad that some schools and colleges banned Yik Yak from being used.
From Early Buzz to Increasing Irrelevance
This contributed to falling user numbers, as that early buzz gave way to increasing irrelevance. Yik Yak eventually laid off most of its employees, and Square appear to have hammered the final nail in the coffin by luring the last of Yik Yak’s engineers away. And with that, Yik Yak is no more.
Did you ever use Yik Yak? What kind of things did you see being said on Yik Yak? Did you witness any cyberbullying? Are you sad to see Yik Yak being killed off? Or do these anonymous messaging apps deserve to die? Please let us know in the comments below!