After a 4 year hiatus, a popular social media application is back in the App store.
Yik Yak ceased to function as of May 5, 2017, but Yik Yak announced via their official website that they were making a comeback, with the app available for download on iOS.
Yik Yak is an anonymous social media application that allows people to create and view discussion threads within a 5-mile radius.
Features on the app included:
- Yakarma: Yakarma was a numerical score generated by the software that aimed to measure the active success of a user. The number increased and decreased based upon the responses to their yaks by other proximate users. Yakarma changed depending on the number of downvotes or upvotes, replies, and comments that were made on a user’s post. Receiving downvotes negatively affected a user’s Yakarma, while upvotes increased it. The exact effect on yakarma was determined by the status (yakarma) of the voting user.
- Reply Icons: User anonymity was designed into Yik Yak conversations by assigning the Original Poster an OP icon, and repliers were randomly generated one of a standard 20 icons including: socks, hot air balloon, anchor, lantern, compass, canoe, binoculars, boot, sailboat, campfire, hook, mushroom, teepee, flashlight, paddles (or oars), acorn, pith helmet, bear print, shovel, and map. The icon was pegged to a user only for a particular thread, and for the duration of that conversation the reply icon was also customized with a colorful background circle. Each reply icon could be backed by any of the color circles, which added to the randomness of the anonymity for each user in every conversation. It was common for one user to address another user by the color and the symbol of the icon, e.g. “Good point Blue Compass!” or “What do you think about that Red Teepee?” Occasionally, the standard set of icons was substituted with seasonal holiday icons e.g. for Halloween, or a winter theme with simple line drawings that referenced Christmas and Hanukkah.
- Upvote/Downvote: Up and down votes were essentially user ratings on a given yak. For a post to become popular it had to receive more upvotes than downvotes, at which time it displayed a positive number next to it. If votes on a post reached a value of -5, it was permanently deleted.
- Peek: The “peek” feature allowed users to anonymously view other Yik Yak community feeds. Initially, the only other areas users could “Peek” into were US and International colleges. With the October 20, 2014 app update, users were able to Peek into any college or city in the world. When users viewed other Yik Yak feeds, they could see other user’s posts but could not vote or post into that community. Users could only post in their local Yik Yak community.
- Other Top Yaks: This simply showed the google image result page from searching the word “yak”. Usually just pictures of yaks (the animal).
- Photos: This feature allowed users to include pictures in their yaks. The company indicated that uploaded photos were moderated and that no inappropriate content, illegal content, or faces were allowed in local feeds. More specifically, photo collections displayed a grid of popular photographs submitted from anyone in the specified location.
- Hidden Features: Yik Yak also contained a word filter. When a post contained threatening or offensive language, the app would remind the user that their post could be offensive, and asked them if they still wished to post it. If the user bypassed the warning, the post would then be flagged and subject to removal by moderators. Posts that contained phone numbers could not be posted.