Every person needs to be heard. However, for schoolchildren and students it is sometimes a kind of a problem to express their opinion publicly; it can be a real social need though. Particularly for this kind of situations Yik Yak Messenger, an anonymous messaging app, was created.
- The development of Yik Yak started back in November 2013.
- The app was founded by two 23-year-old college students from Atlanta, (US, Georgia) – Tyler Droll and Brooks Buffington.
- It runs on iOS and Android.
- The number of downloads from the Google Play Store is 1,000,000 – 5,000,000.
- To sign up, a user does not have to provide his phone number or any personal details, which makes a user and his account completely anonymous.
- The app allows sending anonymous posts called “yaks” and commenting on yaks posted by other users.
- In comparison with messaging apps of the similar type, like Secret and Whisper, Yik Yak messages are rather humourous and a joke than meant to publish any of user’s own secrets.
- It has become popular in over a thousand schools and colleges all over the world. Most of them are located in the US.
- If a yak gets more than five ‘minuses’, the system will remove it automatically.
- The messenger hosts communication in a restricted area of up to 1.5 miles, you can independently set the radius of message visibility.
- The number of views for an anonymous post is also restricted. However, if you wish your post to be seen by more than 500 people a user has to pay from $1 (makes it visible for 1,000 people) to $10 (makes it visible for 10,000).
- One message may contain 200 characters maximum.
- Only people of seventeen and older can use the app. Although, to be fair, to register an account in the app, you just have to indicate your age. Users younger than 17 can indicate fake age and no one will be able to check it.
- Yik Yak brought up a storm of protest from teachers and parents of schoolchildren. They accused the app of contributing to the increasing child aggression and saying that users send each other bullying messages. In response to that, Yik Yak management has banned several schools from using the app.
The total anonymity of the messenger users does not extend to the enquiries of governmental agencies. E.g., in one of schools a message about a bomb explosion was published via Yik Yak. The police came to the office of the messaging company and demanded the personal details of the culprit who now is in for imprisonment.