“Yak is back, oh right!”
Yik Yak is a social network messaging and gossip app that was founded in 2013. It offered anonymity and was popular with college students. Its anonymous nature however came at a cost of cyberbullying, harassment, and similar issues.
According to Tech Crunch, In 2015 the app creators or executives admitted that users were only masked from one another not greater authorities, such as police. Thus, the idea of anonymity was very limited. The nail in the coffin occurred in 2016 when security researchers with NYU, led by computer scientist and professor Keith Ross, found various ways to hack users’ personally identifiable information out of Yik Yak.
The result of this was a user base decline of 76 percent by the end of 2016 as compared to a year prior with employee layoffs taking place soon thereafter. The app was essentially dead in 2017.
Square also ended up paying $1 million to hire several of its top engineers alongside rights to some of the intellectual property it had under its wings. Thus further cementing its uniqueness and overall decline.
However, the app may not have fully died and is back from the dead.
Tech Crunch reports that Yik Yak has again hit the iOS App Store just recently under new ownership.
It will be interesting to see if the app takes off in today’s environment of TiK Tok, Instagram, and other apps taking precedence. Reviving a dead social network and app is no easy task. You can currently find it here on the iOS App Store.
Seeing the evolution of social networks is nothing new. As you may remember if you grew up during the Internet’s days of the 90s and 2000s that Myspace was once big and completely died down or disappeared. Then Friendster seemed to be the next best thing, or really existing for a time parallel to Myspace, only also to delve into obscurity over time.
Once Facebook made it big it seemed that the other players were irrelevant, however, Facebook does not offer everything to everyone and is not the same as those other services. Thus, there is always a market need for something different or a different way of communicating and interacting with others. Maybe Yik Yak will strive to find its own niche.