Anonymous Chat App Yik Yak Is Back Four Years After Shutting Down

Back by unpopular demand: the anonymous chat app Yik Yak, which returned to the App Store yesterday four years after shutting down.

Yik Yak is the id unleashed. It allows people to post anonymously to other Yik Yak users within a 5-mile radius, providing a forum for steamy gossip like, “To the hot guy in British Lit, I love the way you chew on your pencil.”

In 2014, one year after the original version launched, Yik Yak exploded in popularity among a specific demographic (high schoolers and college students), and even attained a $400 million valuation.

But all the things that you imagine could go wrong with a purely anonymous app—bullying, harassment, bomb threats—did, and it shut down in 2017 after its star faded.

The revived Yik Yak said it’s trying to clean up the toxicity by instituting a one-strike no bullying policy and providing links to mental health resources—though most of the functionality appears similar to V1.

Bottom line: “​​We’ll probably know if Yik Yak catches on with Gen Z if it starts causing TikTok drama. That’s sort of how you know something’s a hit these days,” internet trends writer Ryan Broderick said.