The anonymous messaging app Yik Yak has returned more than four years after it was shutdown. Should you have a yearning to send messages incognito to similarly-minded people in your area, then you can find the new version on the iOS App Store.
Some temporary caveats on that...
Currently it’s only available in the U.S. and on the iPhone, but the company announced the intent to make it accessible in other countries and for other devices soon.
Just as it was before it disappeared in 2017, the message board app allows you to talk to other anonymous people within a five-mile radius.
The ability to post without a name attached led to widespread allegations of harassment and bullying (feel free to note that those are issues/potential issues for anything allowing you to comment anonymously).
Here’s a relatively lengthy summary of the beginning and (original) end of the app from The New York Times.
The re-birth would appear to be making an effort to combat these problems, with a lengthy list of “community guardrails” intended to keep things civil. A website for the app also has “mental health” and “stay safe” resources to aid those who choose to use it.
Though outlining a code of conduct doesn’t ensure anything (see: pretty much all of the internet), Engadget summarized the app’s rules by saying that users can’t post personal info or participate in “any kind of bullying, harassment, bigotry or threats.” Users aren’t allowed to encourage self-harm/suicide. Other things that can’t be posted are “overly graphic violent depictions,” fake news, spam, trolling, and trying to discourage others from voting.
Obviously those rules could be difficult to enforce, but that’s the stated goal.
Engadget adds that it’s not initially clear who’s behind the new version. The original app, which probably hit its popularity peak around the middle of last decade, shuttered in 2017, with a good chunk opting to use the more popular Snapchat. Square also bought up some of Yik Yak’s intellectual property, and hired away multiple engineers.