But no one knows the reason, however, according to the new owners of the app they believe that the global community “deserves a place to be authentic, a place to be equal, and a place to connect with people nearby.”
We can see that they see an opportunity to tap into local engagement in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has kept us all much closer to home – though even then, to release it now, at this late stage of the game, seems a little strange.
Back in 2013, YikYak was first launched, and at one point, was valued at more than $400 million, and had 200 million active users.
However, as with any anonymous platform, cyberbullies and trolls saw the opportunity to spread negative speech, on the other hand, the company was also forced to backtrack on its anonymous approach and this is y providing information to authorities when issued with warrants.
Finally, Snapchat ate into YikYak’s market share, as well as the limited use case for the app, combined with the noted issues with trolls, made it a less relevant consideration. Which finally then lead to its closure four years in.
Obviously, the lessons of those first years have forced a change in approach, as YikYak’s new website outlining various “guardrails” and safety features to combat such concerns.
However, it seems like a moderation disaster waiting to happen, especially in the times of the COVID-19 misinformation as well as political division through society.
Is there really a place, or a need for YikYak in the current social media sphere?
According to YikYak: “Yik Yak helps unite local communities. College campuses, music festivals, cities, large workplaces, and anywhere in between instantly become friendly herds of fresh new ideas, jokes, perspectives, and friends.”
YikYak V2 is currently available in the US on iOS, with more countries and devices coming soon.