It’s been an amazing journey since Brooks and I began building an app to let you instantly speak with those right around you, and we’re stoked to be here with you as y’all head back to campus. Thanks to you, Yik Yak has expanded across college campuses in the US and is quickly making its way into cities and universities around the world. It’s almost hard to believe at one point you couldn’t vote or reply on yaks, peek into other locations, or post a photo on Yik Yak! But even as we look back at how much the app has evolved, there’s still so much we want to do – all with the core goal of connecting you with the community around you.
The beautiful thing about location is that it makes moments relatable even among people you might not be connected to in any other way. We can all relate to the joy of that super cheery barista who writes everyone’s name in a special way, or to the pain of trying to get through that eternal stoplight during rush hour. This ability to connect to everyone around you is incredibly powerful, and we’ve seen it lead to blood drives getting massive turnouts, lost items being returned to their owners, and timely community news spreading faster than ever before. And beyond campuses, as you move around your city or visit a new one, we’re all about letting you find the casual, relatable things that connect you with your community.
Being able to speak openly within your community is powerful and beneficial, too. The absence of a profile on Yik Yak levels the social playing field so that content is judged on the quality of content, not by who said it. This also lets us share things we might otherwise be afraid to admit, like the thrill of getting a first-ever A or the disappointment of a break-up. On Yik Yak we can have open and honest conversations on topics that we might not even talk about with our closest friends.
Now of course, the ability to chat anonymously with others entrusts a lot of responsibility in your hands. One of our values at Yik Yak is to be yourself – be honest, be true, be natural, but don’t be a jackass. We mean that! If you’re ever unclear, just check out our Rules. There’s the potential for misuse in any form of social media, but here’s the bottom line: We don’t want any of it on our app. We’ve taken a bunch of steps to protect against this – like moderating reported yaks around the clock and geofencing non-college campuses – and we continue to work on this behind the scenes. But perhaps even more powerfully, y’all also have the opportunity to take an active role by both upvoting great content and downvoting stuff that’s just not appropriate for your community. That’s an incredibly important part of how Yik Yak works, because at its core, Yik Yak is your community – your local feed is an extension of the real world directly around you.
No matter what stage of life you’re in, Yik Yak lets you chat with those around you that you wouldn’t have before. Whether you’re a wide-eyed freshman walking onto campus or a graduating senior moving to a big new city, Yik Yak can help you find your herd in your new stage of life. Even if you’re beyond college like Brooks and I, the desire to discover and connect with the world and those around you never goes away. And that’s where Yik Yak comes in. Yik Yak lets us be our silly, zany, heartfelt, funky selves; it lets us embrace the lighter side of life; it lets us connect with the community right around us, wherever we are. Location and community aren’t just central to Yik Yak – they’re what define it. We’re all about making the world feel small again.