Things Aren't Going Well for Once-Popular App Yik Yak

The company laid off 60% of its employees Thursday
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2016 2:52 PM CST
Things Aren't Going Well for Once-Popular App Yik Yak
Yik Yak--that's its app in the lower left--laid off 60% of its employees Thursday as its popularity among college students plummets.   (AP Photo/Ronald Lizik)

Yik Yak collapse. The Verge reports the once-popular college social-networking app that had visions of rivaling Facebook laid off 60% of its employees Thursday. The layoffs affected 30 employees largely from Yik Yak's community, marketing, design, and product teams. "I didn't know that it was going to come to this," one laid-off employee tells the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I don't know what the future of Yik Yak is, but I can't see that it continues." That future was a lot brighter back in 2013, when Yik Yak launched and quickly became one of the 10 most popular apps, spreading to thousands of college campuses and getting valued at $400 million.

Yik Yak's big innovation—anonymous posting—was also its downfall. "In a single night, Yik Yak’s feed could simultaneously include threats to athletes coming off a bad game and notes of kindness and understanding to other struggling peers," TechCrunch states. But reports of abuse and bullying spread; people used Yik Yak to make threats, resulting in school lockdowns; and some campuses banned the app. By August, Yik Yak was requiring users to post under names, even fake ones. It was a wildly unpopular move, and Yik Yak currently doesn't crack the top 1,500 apps. Its downloads have dropped 76% in the past year. Of the layoffs, CEO Tyler Droll said: “We recently made some strategic changes at Yik Yak in line with our key areas of focus for the company." (More Yik Yak stories.)

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