Monday, November 9, 2015

Yik Yak

Yik Yak is a social media app very much like Twitter but instead of having a username the entire app is anonymous. I first started using Yik Yak at the beginning of last year. It was just starting to become popular. About the only features were you could post short messages, down or up vote messages, and reply anonymously. I've watched the app slowly be updated and I'm really impressed with how they've improved.

One of the first things the app did was add icons to replies. Now if you respond to a yak multiple times your icon will be the same each time so people can tell it's still you. I thought this was a great idea as sometimes it would get confusing reading a long string of responses. I'm not sure if they're doing this for any other holidays but for Halloween they made the icons themed with clowns, bats, witch's hats, etc.

The app also added the ability to add pictures. Not many people do add pictures but it's a nice addition and I'm glad there is the opportunity. It could be used for anything from posting pictures of lost pets or phones to advertising an event on campus. When my boyfriend lost his phone I went on Yik Yak and posted what kind of phone it was and what it looked like. I got several replies about different phones. I also saw several yaks with pictures of phones that had been found on campus. I've also seen someone post a picture of a dog they had found. Anyone can see something on Yik Yak so it's a convenient way to reach out to the whole campus. Things like Facebook and Twitter are great but for those you have to have people choosing to follow or friend you. For Yik Yak it's visible to everyone and allows you to reach a much broader audience.

As Yik Yak continues to develop I'm interested to see how it does. From what I can tell so far it seems to go through phases where it's really popular and phases where it's not super popular. There also tends to be a wide range of topics posted so some people just avoid it entirely. I think it could be a really good tool to get the word out about campus wide activities and I'm hoping in the future there will be new updates that continue to make it a really cool and useful social media platform.

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