By WVUA-23 Digital Correspondent Melanie Bombus
YikYak is back at the University of Alabama and we have the reality of “Gossip Girl” on our hands.
The social media platform that allows users to post anonymous messages to others within a 5-mile radius is back after a four-year hiatus. Users upload anonymous “yak” messages and can vote for or against these posts, similar to likes and dislikes on other social media apps. Earns “Yakarma” to participate in the application.
“YikYak is my daily news source,” an anonymous user from the University of Alabama joked.
Students use the platform to ask about parking spaces, school-related announcements, or even relationship advice.
“Is it hard to find a Ferg parking deck at this time of the morning?” Anonymous user request.
The smartphone app is a space for UA students to use school related terminology to communicate and disseminate information.
The UA student who chose to remain anonymous said, “I think YikYak is great. It gives people a comic relief in the sense of community with campus.”
Students enjoy scrolling through the app and seeing funny or relevant posts.
“It gives them a place to escape from other social media apps and share their opinions anonymously without being judged,” said Natalie Tate, a student at UA.
This app is popular because it is an easy way to talk to others with the puzzle of wondering who wrote what.
However, it has caused turmoil in the past.
According to The Tuscaloosa Thread, a University of Alabama student was arrested last November for sending an unidentified “yak” threatening to blow up Bryant Denny Stadium.
The student was sent to the Tuscaloosa County Jail and charged with a Class C felony and later released on $5,000 bail. It has not been reported whether the student has been expelled from the institution.
According to Hattiesburg American, a threat of gun violence found in YikYak in 2014 was found on the iPhone of another University of Alabama student, causing police to form a perimeter around Tutwiler Hall on campus.
The popular smartphone app was originally shut down in 2017 as a result of the violence caused by the gossip nature of the app. It was relaunched on August 16, 2021 and is now aimed at users over 17 years of age.
There are no current plans for the university to ban students from using the app.
Yik Yak is free to download on the Apple App Store (iPhone only).