There’s a new app that’s blowing up social media. Just about anyone with an iPhone or an Android has this app and it’s changing the way people in communities interact. It’s called Yik Yak, a new social app that lets you connect with nearby people, share your thoughts, and get the inside scoop on sales and celebrity sightings.
I’ll walk you through some of the best Yik Yak tips and tricks to get you started and share some secrets that are sure to give you the upper hand compared to your friends.
Since this is a relatively new app that was released just last year and has very recently started to gain momentum among young users, I will be covering general information about the app, how to use it, what Yik Yak really means and more. By the end of this guide you should have a good idea of how to use the app and have most of your questions answered.
If you can think of any other questions or tips, feel free to leave them below so that the rest of the readers can benefit from your knowledge. Since this app was just recently released you will for sure notice big changes as the app evolves and gains more users.
What is Yik Yak?
First, let’s cover some basic information about what Yik Yak is. The app called Yik Yak is a mixture between Twitter, a social media platform, and a community forum with over 250,000 users. It uses the internal GPS of your iPhone or Android to determine your location and you can post anonymously a message. This message can be read by anyone within 1.5 miles of you at the time of posting. This allows you and everyone else within your 1.5 mile circle to see the community yaks.
So basically the app is a community bulletin for the internet and smartphone world. It allows you to spread ideas, news, quotes, information, and jokes with those around you. Once you share a yak, others around you can vote it up or down, which will determine how likely it is that the message is seen by those around you. It’s important to keep in mind that these messages are completely anonymous so you don’t have to worry about a stranger finding out who you are or where you are.
What is Karma Score (Yakarma) on Yik Yak?
If you have gone to the app store on your iPhone or Android device and signed up for Yik Yak then you may be wondering what the karma score on Yik Yak is and what it means. It’s also known as Yakarma in the app, a made up word combining karma with the app’s name.
Yakarma or karma score is a number associated with your profile indicating how popular a user is on the app. It’s all based on up votes and down votes that people give your messages. If you post a yak that a ton of people up vote then your karma score will go up quickly. If a lot of people down vote it then your score decreases. Everyone starts with a Yakarma score of 100 and from there it can increase or decrease.
Another cool way to boost your score is to up vote or down vote other people’s yaks because that will add to your total Yakarma score. A good thing to keep in mind is that the scoring is completely anonymous so if you login to another device on your account it may drop your score back down to 100 Yakarma points.
How To Use Yik Yak
First of all, Yik Yak makes it super easy to sign up for their app without really putting in a bunch of personal information for them to use. The primary reason is because the app is based on privacy and making sure your messages are anonymous.
Basically all you have to do is head over to your App Store on your iPhone or Android device and search for and download Yik Yak. From there, when you first open it up, the app will ask to use your location, which you have to let it do for the app to work correctly. From there, you don’t need to sign in at all.
You can immediately start to see other people’s yaks around you and up vote or down vote the messages. If you want to send a message just tap on the little box with a pen in it at the top right. You will be able to send a message up to 200 characters, including emoji or emoticons with all sorts of smiley faces.
What is Yik Yak Upvote Downvote
The upvote and downvote are ways for Yik Yak to appreciate the better users and have their users self regulate the messages. If a message gets down voted to -5 (a total of 5 downvotes) then the message automatically disappears and is not displayed. Also, the yaks that get upvoted the most will show up on the hot tab. It’s an automatic way of the audience to determine which posts are good and which ones are bad. Similar to rating systems on Yelp, Amazon or Reddit that all allow people to show whether they like something or dislike it.
Another good side effect of voting is that it increases your Yakarma score, giving you incentive to keep on voting. The more you vote the better score you’ll get. Also, if people upvote your yak then you will get even more points, or if someone comments on your yak.
How To Change Location On Yik Yak
If you’re on Yik Yak and want to change your location, there is no way as of now to trick Yik Yak into thinking you’re somewhere that you’re not. However, you can use the peek feature which may be a good substitute depending on what your motivation is for changing your location.
The peek feature allows you to view other local Yik Yak groups or communities. If there is a college nearby you could “peek” into their university pocket and see the yaks that are posted. You will be able to vote up or down on yaks from posts in an area that you peek into but you won’t be able to post your own message. You can only post in the area that you are physically in depending on where the GPS in your iPhone or Android has you.
This feature adds privacy so that people who are not in college can’t join the college network and start posting obscene things or random yaks that don’t have to do with the university.
Where is Yik Yak Popular?
Yik Yak is primarily meant for universities and colleges and the app is primarily popular in those areas. There has been some controversy about use of the app in high school and middle school, but the developers have taken action to limit the ability of people to use the app in those school settings (more on that below).
Yik Yak has primarily been popular at the following universities and colleges: Boston College, University of Alabama, University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Lehigh University, Auburn University, University of South Carolina, University of Southern California, University of Virginia, Wake Forest, University of North Carolina, Columbia University, Duke University, College of Charleston, University of California Santa Barbara, University of Hawaii, and the University of Delaware.
If you’re wondering how to find what’s popular on Yik Yak you can always visit the New/Hot tab on the app. To do so follow these steps:
- Open up the Yik Yak app and tap on the More with three dots above it at the bottom right.
- Now, you will have the choice of all time greatest yaks, top yaks in my area, or other top yaks.
- Tap on one and you will be able to see both the new and hot yaks in the list.
Why Is Yik Yak Bad / Yik Yak Bullying
As with most online forums they can sometimes turn negative where there is a lot of cyber bullying or people saying nasty, mean things about others. Yik Yak has been under recent fire from parents, high schools, and middle schools for cyber bullying and people posting offensive yaks in a school setting.
Therefore, Yik Yak has enabled what is called geofencing. This allows the app to determine whether you are in a location where they do not permit you to use the app. These include high schools, middle schools, government buildings and institutions, and airports for security reasons. If the app determines that you are in one of those locations then it will come up with a message that the app is deactivated due to your proximity to a sensitive geofenced area. You will be able to use the app again once you leave the area and are no longer within a geofenced zone.
Can You Use Yik Yak Online?
As of now, there is no option to use Yik Yak online. As of now, the app is only available for iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Android devices. This may change if the app’s developers decide it’s worth it to branch into an online market. However, that is commonly much later on in development of apps and most apps want to focus on building mobile users before they branch into desktop and laptop users. My guess is that it’s years out, and that’s if Yik Yak continues to grow at the rate it currently has.
Can You Use Yik Yak On Computer?
The answer is by and large the same as above. The developers of the app have not created an app for Mac computers or Windows computers so you won’t be able to download it to your desktop or laptop as of now. You can, if you really want to use it on your PC, download an Android emulator which will let you play apps on your computer. I suggest reading the Yik Yak terms of service to make sure an emulator doesn’t go against the terms of service before using it.
Yik Yak Club
A new occurrence is that people are starting to create their own Yik Yak clubs that are basically meet ups or common themes in a certain area. This is controversial because the app inherently relies on people being private and the messages being anonymous. Make sure you don’t give out any personal information on the app, even if someone seems like a friend and they want to hang out. It’s almost always better to cut off communication if someone wants to meet in person. Make sure you are comfortable with the conversation or else tell someone.
Funny Yik Yaks
Lastly, I want to leave you with a few funny Yik Yaks that I read in my area and in the hot section of the app.
- Huge turn on: When people smell good and are hot. Sometimes spicy. Wrapped in tinfoil. Are actually burritos.
- Nothing says “I respect you” quite like a 2:00am “what’s up” text.
- When I send in a Yik Yak I feel like I’m sending in a tip to gossip girl.
Yik Yak Tips of 2015
Now that we’re in 2015 I thought I’d update this post to provide the very best Yik Yak tips for 2015 that will allow you to get a ton more uproots and build your yakarma score to a world class score. Remember that there are a ton of various techniques and it may depend on your personal preference, what your personality is, in combination with what your general area’s interest are.
Know your audience, first and foremost of importance with any sort of social platform is to know your audience, however in most other social media platforms you do in fact know exactly who your audience is. In Yik Yak you don’t know who exactly your audience is and therefore it can be a bit more difficult to target your yaks. I recommend thinking about your general location and what sorts of people in your area would be on Yik Yak. For example, if you’re by a college, it’s likely most Yik Yak users in your radius are also in college.
Piggy back on trending topics or popular topics in your area. If you want to get a ton of uproots you can mimic what’s doing well right now. Head over to the trending yaks and from there you will be able to see if there’s a certain trending topic. Whether it’s a general news story that’s trending, a local party, yaks about upcoming exams, etc. All of these are clues to what you can post on Yik Yak and you’ll likely be more successful with that strategy.
In Yik Yak you don’t always want to conform to the group. The very best yaks often times won’t conform with what is typical as it takes a yak to stand out for it to be upvoted to a point where it’s at the top of the list. Make sure it’s not the exact same as 10 other yaks you’ve seen around the app.
Everyone likes a funny yak and I would say three quarters of the top voted yaks are funny if not more than that. If you’re not funny, borrow a line from a popular comedian or you can use the peak feature to see what’s doing well somewhere else and use that.
Of course that’s kind of cheating as you’re taking work from someone else and claiming it as your own. However, no one takes anything on Yik Yak too seriously so I doubt many people will care. The app is more about sharing a laugh and connecting with people you may not necessarily connect or hear about during your daily life.
With that I ask that you leave questions, comments, tips, tricks, or secrets below with whatever you have found to be helpful with the Yik Yak app. Let me know how you like it and if there is anything you’d like to share. Also, leave a comment with your favorite yaks below!