New update ruins Yik Yak’s popularity

Alayna Pellegrin

I, for one, am on social media all the time. Over the past month, I spent about six hours a day scrolling through Instagram or watching TikToks. But my favorite social media app was Yik Yak until the new update ruined it. 

 For those living under a rock, Yik Yak allows users to post anonymous messages online. Yik Yak is like other public forums such as Reddit and Facebook, except it limits messages, or yaks, to a five-mile radius. The app is geared towards college students because it allows students to post and receive yaks exclusively from students around campus.  

Unfortunately for the social media giant, Yik Yak’s popularity appears to have fallen since its latest update. The update transformed Yik Yak from a fun, entertaining way to chat with friends into another generic messaging app. 

The app’s programmers implemented stricter guidelines, monitoring what users can post. Criticized posts are swiftly taken down and erased. When users are notified that their post has been removed, they can do nothing to stop it. 

Along with new guidelines, the update erased everyone’s chats and posts. It seems as if Yik Yak wiped the slate clean with a new design and an even more confusing layout. 

The update came after the creators of Yik Yak sold the app to Sidechat. Sidechat is a rival social media site that focuses on connecting college students. By merging the two companies, the owners hope to profit from the popularity of both apps among college students. 

Ysabel Gerrard, a social media researcher at the University of Sheffield, studied the reasoning behind the massive popularity of anonymous apps, such as Yik Yak and Sidechat. “Anonymous apps are notorious for rapidly rising and falling in popularity,” Gerrard said. “They attract a user base far larger and faster than their founders anticipate.” 

All I know is the next time I log onto social media, it will not be on Yik Yak.