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What is Yik Yak and how to use it

what-is-yik-yak-and-how-to-use-it

The anonymous social media app returns.Yik Yak is back after a four-year hiatus.

Yik Yak is a location-based anonymous social media app with a controversial past. Yes, seriously, the once-popular app Yik Yak has relaunched, and the premise of the app is basically the same.

What is Yik Yak used for?

People post anonymous text posts on Yik Yak that are often funny or relatable. It’s a little like an anonymous Twitter where the humor is grounded in the shared experience of living in a certain location. It can be a fun place to bond over location-based problems. But it has also lead to some serious problems.

Why is Yik Yak controversial?

Yik Yak was founded in 2013 by Tyler Droll and Brooks Buffington and became popular on college campuses and high schools in 2014. Yik Yak was shutdown in 2017 after losing popularity in 2016. It was home to rampant harassment, bullying, and threats of mass violence. Due to the privacy policy of the app school administrators often were unable to track down the people behind the harassment unless it was a specific actionable threat.

Who owns Yik Yak?

The new Yik Yak is run by different owners and seems to be trying to foster a better environment on the app. On the Yik Yak website there are “Community Guardrails,” “Mental Health Resources,” and “Stay Safe Resources,” but the owners still chose to bring the anonymous app back.

The new owners of Yik Yak posted the following message on its about page:

We’re the new owners of Yik Yak. We purchased the rights to redevelop the Yik Yak app from an original maker in February 2021, and we’ve been working to bring the app back to life ever since.

We’re bringing Yik Yak back because we believe the global community deserves a place to be authentic, a place to be equal, and a place to connect with people nearby.

We’re committed to making Yik Yak a fun place free of bullying, threats, and all sort of negativity.

How to use YikYak

To use Yik Yak you need to download the app yo your iPhone. Mashable ran into some trouble trying to download Yik Yak. It currently won’t come up when you search it in the Apple App Store, so to download it just click this link here, which will bring you directly to the Apple App store. At the moment Yik Yak is only available for iOS users, and is not currently available on Android.

Once you download the app you’ll be required to verify that you’re not a robot and share your location with Yik Yak. Since this is a location-based app, this part is sort of necessary unfortunately.

When you open the app there are two feeds. The “New” feed will be the one that the app defaults to when you open Yik Yak. On the New feed, posts, called “yaks” are organized in chronological order. The other feed can be accessed by tapping the “Hot” icon on the top middle of the screen. The Hot feed is organized by popularity over the past 24 hours.

Tap "Hot" to go to the Hot feed.

Tap “Hot” to go to the Hot feed.
Credit: screenshot: yik yak

If you like a yak you can upvote it by tapping the upwards facing arrow next to the yak. Upvoting a yak makes it more popular. If you don’t like a yak you can downvote it by tapping the downwards facing arrow next to the yak. If a yak receives a score of -5 it will be removed from all feeds.

You can comment on a Yik Yak post by tapping the comment icon beneath a post.

To post your own yak tap the green pencil icon in the lower right corner of your screen and type out your message. When your post is done hit the “Ready to Send” icon in the lower left corner.

Tap the green icon to post your own yak.

Tap the green icon to post your own yak.
Credit: screenshot: yik yak

For more information on Yik Yak and to access “Nationwide Top Yaks” tap the gray grid in the lower right corner.

Tap the gray grid to access more on the app.

Tap the gray grid to access more on the app.
Credit: screenshot: yik yak

How far are local yaks? What is a herd?

When you post a yak it’s visible to anyone on Yik Yak within a 5-mile radius. The users within your 5-mile radius are your “herd.”

What are nationwide top yaks and hot yaks?

Nationwide top yaks are the most popular yaks in your country. Even though you’re not in the same location of those yaks, you can still upvote and comment on them, but you can’t downvote them.

Nationwide hot yaks are yaks that are popular and trending yaks that are less than 24 hours old from your country. Like with nationwide top yaks you can upvote and comment on them, but you can’t downvote them.

What is the bullhorn on Yik Yak for?

The bullhorn icon in the upper left corner is where you access your notifications. You will get notifications if your yak is upvoted or if someone comments on your yak.

Tap the bullhorn icon to access your notifications.

Tap the bullhorn icon to access your notifications.
Credit: screenshot: yik yak

What is Yakarma?

In the upper right hand corner you’ll see your “Yakarma” which are the fake internet points you’re awarded for engaging on Yik Yak. You get points for yakking, commenting, and receiving upvotes on your yaks and comments. Your yakarama is only visible to you and you begin with 100 points.

How to report a yak on Yik Yak?

To report a yak tap the three gray dots below the downvote arrow. Yik yak recommends downvoting the yak before reporting it.

Tap the three gray dots to report a Yik Yak.

Tap the three gray dots to report a Yik Yak.
Credit: screenshot: yik yak

How to censor swearing on Yik Yak

To censor swearing or cuss words first tap the gray grid icon found in the lower right corner of your feed. Then tap “More Options” which is at the bottom of the screen. Then tap the white circle next to “Cuss Buster” to censor swearing. Confirm you want to turn it on by tapping “Turn On.”

Tap "Turn On" to confirm you want to censor swearing on Yik Yak.

Tap “Turn On” to confirm you want to censor swearing on Yik Yak.
Credit: screenshot: yik yak

How to delete your account and data from Yik Yak?

There is no way to delete your Yik Yak account per say, but you can delete all your data which deletes all the information linking you to your activity. To delete all your data tap “More Options.” Then select “Delete All Your Data.” This will delete all your yaks, comments and revert your yakarma score.

To use the app again you’ll have to verify you’re not a robot.

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