Yik Yak

An app that allows people to make anonymous comments is sweeping through UMD.Yik Yak is a free, anonymous social networking app for people ages 17 and up that is gaining popularity among colleges around the country. The app provides users with a live feed of what is going on around them while keeping their identity unknown.

Yik Yak users are grouped into areas called communities, which is based on their phone’s GPS location. Anyone in that community can see or create posts, which are limited to 200 characters and referred to as Yaks.

Yaks range from jokes and quotes to comments about what people are doing or thinking that apply to the location or the college people are in. Users can reply to and share Yaks, as well as “up-vote” or “down-vote” the Yaks depending on what they like or dislike.

For many, the appeal of this new app lies in the anonymity it provides. On some social media sites people might feel the need to put on a face, but being able to post anonymously allows users to not worry about what others think of their posts. Though people can judge a post by up- or down-voting it, they cannot judge the person who posted it.

To UMD sophomore Gabby Novoa, who has had Yik Yak for a month, Yik Yak’s popularity stems from the fact that people enjoy knowing what others are doing.

UMD junior Becca Tahmooresi finds Yik Yak to be an entertaining way for college students to stay connected to what is happening around them.

“The app is much like Bulldog confessional on Facebook, except people don’t need to go through others to post something,” Tahmooresi said.

“I think it offers college students a nice way to vent,” UMD junior Caitlin Pederson said. “Nobody knows who is posting, so you can vent about a class or the college in general and no one can judge you for what you are thinking or saying.”

Pederson would recommend the app to people as a funny thing to read, but would also warn people it can be easy for people to get caught up in it and think everything is about them.


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