Anonymous Social Media App Yik Yak Has Returned

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Yik Yak, the anonymous social media app that only shows posts from people close to users, has come back to life with a new owner after it closed four years ago.

The new owners of Yik Yak bought the rights to redevelop the service in February 2021 with the aim of creating a local social network free of the “labels” that dominate communication on other social media platforms.

The new app is pretty similar to the original version of Yik Yak from 2014: users can post and comment on short text posts that are visible within a five-mile radius. Posts can be upvoted and downvoted like Reddit, and a separate “hot” feed compiles the top posts of the last 24 hours.

Launched in late 2013, the app was a rapid success, especially at universities, for most of 2014, when it was valued at $400 million by investors.

But while anonymity made it popular with college students, Yik Yak became a platform for bullying and harassment. In early 2016, Yik Yak added optional social media handles, which were required in August of that year, removing what had made the service unique. Yik Yak’s original version was shut down in early 2017 when Square acquired it for $1 million for its engineering talent and intellectual property.

The brand new Yik Yak seems to take bullying and harassment on its platform very seriously – something the first version of the app failed to do. New owners have released a comprehensive list of its “community guardrails,” which include banning the sharing of personal information, “anything that could be construed as bullying, abuse, defamation, harassment, stalking, or targeted hate or public humiliation,” and more.

The company also notes that bullying, hate speech, threats or other violations of guardrails or terms of use may result in a complete ban on the platform. Additionally, posts that receive a total score of -5 will also be banned from view to ensure that no negative or harmful content is displayed.

The new Yik Yak is presently only available for U.S. users to download on iOS, with developers promising to expand to other nations and devices in the coming months.

For more information, read the original story in The Verge.

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