You may have heard that Yik Yak, the popular app that uses location-based connections to give you updates on what’s going on directly around you, is shutting down. At one point, the company was valued at over 350 million dollars, so why end business after only five years? We’ve got the answers here, and some advice about what you can do now if you were an avid Yik Yak user.
Yik Yak shut down mainly because Square Inc., a company controlled by CEO (and Twitter founder) Jack Dorsey, paid for the rights to acquire a team of software engineers working at Yik Yak. Yik Yak also declined in usership, so likely, the costs to run it were beginning to exceed its profit potential.
Yik Yak also received much criticism over time because of its anonymous nature, and tendency to be used on school and college campuses. More than most social media applications, there was the potential for cyberbullying, causing concern throughout many schools while it was in service.
When Yik Yak announced it would shut down on April 28, 2017, co-founders Tyler Droll and Brooks Buffington claimed that over the coming weeks, the app would wind down its service because of “summer vacation.” Yik Yak will likely end its service completely by the end of June, 2017.
If you loved Yik Yak and are all broken up that it will no longer be in service – don’t worry! We’ve got a list here of the best apps and sites like Yik Yak so you can choose one that works for you.
Whisper is a website and app where users can share their thoughts, feelings, and desires with every other person who browses Whisper... all without needing to reveal their identity. Users post an image related to a short comment, and these images can be shared and liked amongst users. These “whispers” can also be sorted into categories; you can browse through “love and relationships,” “pop culture,” “student life,” and more to find the meaningful inspiration -- or comic relief -- you’re looking for throughout the day. You can also download the Whisper app to take Whisper with you on the go!
Ask.fm is a social media website that focuses on getting to know people through the asking and answering of questions. Virtually anyone can sign up, and offer as much or as little information about themselves as they want to. Users are also protected by an additional layer of anonymity, as they are allowed to pose questions on other user’s profiles anonymously. This way, you can learn something about someone else without needing to let them know who is asking. You can follow users with the same interests as you, and then answer the questions they ask you to gain more followers yourself.
If you're interested in learning more about Ask.fm, visit our course on it!
LikeWhere is an app that is similar to Yik Yak in its focus on local information and entertainment. After you input some information about the things you like in a familiar city, LikeWhere will tell you what you would like in a new city. LikeWhere can help you find all the things you would love to do in an unfamiliar or new place, whether you’ve just moved in or are just vacationing. It may even help you discover places you might not have known existed in a city you do know.
After School is an app for American teenagers that allows them to openly share their thoughts and feelings with students from their school. Users can choose whether they would like to reveal their name or remain anonymous. After School also has strict rules against cyber-bullying, ridicule, or any kind of judgment. As a result, many students are able to use After School to make new connections with students at their school, and share messages of encouragement and positivity that help other students get through the day.
AroundMe is not a social media app, but (like Yik Yak) it focuses on locating landmarks and services around you quickly. Find banks, bars, gas stations, hotels, hospitals, or any other places you want or need to go to while out and about. AroundMe is a great tool to use when you’re in a new city; it helps you find all of the facilities that you need to use regularly, as well as those you need in a pinch. It’s available in many languages, and contains data from all over the world. With AroundMe, you’ll never be lost again!
In their blog post commenting on the shutting down of Yik Yak, Tyler and Brooks stated that they will “start tinkering around with what’s ahead for our brand, our technology, and ourselves” as Yik Yak service winds down. Though Yik Yak is ending, their achievements were impressive.
There’s certainly more to come, and I’m sure we’ll see impressive achievements from the engineers at Yik Yak who have moved onto its partner Square.
That’s the scoop on why Yik Yak is closing down, and what you can do about it. We’re sorry to see it go, but can’t wait to see what comes next from Yik Yak’s innovative engineers, and its founders Tyler Droll and Brooks Buffington.
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