YikYak is Back: Here’s how Alabama’s students are using it

Students stir up drama, get parking tips with anonymous app
41120e00 Cuqrr

By WVUA-23 Digital Reporter Melanie Bumpus

YikYak is back at the University of Alabama and we have a real life “Gossip Girl” situation on our hands.

A social media platform allowing 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 upvote or downvote these posts, similar to likes and dislikes on other social media apps. “Yakarma” is earned for engaging on the app.

“YikYak is my daily news source,” joked one anonymous user from the University of Alabama.

The platform is used by students to ask about parking spots, school related announcements, or even relationship advice.

“Is the Ferg parking deck hard to find parking at this time of the morning?” asked an anonymous user.

The smartphone app is a space for UA students to use school-related lingo to communicate and spread information.

“I think YikYak is fantastic,” said a UA student who chooses to remain anonymous, “it gives people comedic relief in a sense of community with their campus.”

Students enjoy scrolling through the app and seeing relatable or funny posts.

“It allows them a place to escape other social media apps and anonymously share their opinions without being judged,” said UA student Natalie Teat.

This app is popular because it is an easy way to talk to others with the mystery of wondering who wrote what.

However, it has caused disruption in the past.

According to The Tuscaloosa Thread, a University of Alabama student was arrested this past November for sending an anonymous “yak” threatening to blow up Bryant-Denny Stadium.

The student was sent to Tuscaloosa County Jail and charged with a class C felony charge and was later released on a $5,000 bond. It has not yet been reported if the student has faced expulsion from the institution.

According to Hattiesburg American, gun violence threats found on YikYak in 2014 were traced to 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 gossiping nature of the app. It was relaunched on August 16, 2021 and is now geared toward users above the age of 17.

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 (only for iPhones).

Categories: Local News