Yik Yak Is Close To Closing On Roughly $75 Million

We have talked a lot this semester about the rise of “dark social” apps like WeChat, Whisper, and Secret. The elusive and hard to monitor nature of these apps are very appealing to high school and college students around the country, who use these services to gossip about school life and their communities. Now, one of the newer dark social apps, Yik Yak, is about to close a round of financing worth about $75 million. The company, which was founded just last year, focuses primarily on local and anonymous messaging between college students. Although Yik Yak is one of the newer dark social apps, it has already surpassed more well-established competitors to become the ninth most popular social media app on the market. With its most recent (and surprisingly lucrative) financing round, the two founders of Yik Yak are expressing a desire to expand the scope of the dark social app to become less of a collegiate gossip service and more of an altruistic “hyper-local news source”. I find their ambitions to be interesting considering the controversial reputations that are often associated with dark social apps. Now that companies like Yik Yak are gaining significant financial backings, it will be interesting to see if heavily funded dark social sites will decide to pivot away from questionable practices, like gossip and cyberbullying, and more towards larger, more positive community-oriented activity. Whatever the future holds for Yik Yak, this financing round has further proven that dark social is an area of social media that will have great importance in the future.



2 thoughts on “Yik Yak Is Close To Closing On Roughly $75 Million

  1. Admittedly, I do not know the efforts which other dark social sites and apps have taken to curb viral bullying, but the geo-fencing, and other efforts put in place by Yik Yak to limit the viral bullying seems to be a step in the right direction, and could be a reason that there is validity in its desire to become sort of a news source.

    I also found it interesting that RenRen (the Chinese Facebook) is one of the funders of Yik Yak – I wonder if Yik Yak’s end strategy is to ultimately be bought out, and if RenRen would consider buying, to penetrate the American market and challenge Facebook here.

  2. I also agree that Yik Yak is trying to address cyber bullying with strict moderating rules as well as limiting access to the app on school campuses. Since dark social is entering the mainstream, companies like Yik Yak who are trying to do something about limiting bullying on dark social apps, I see them becoming more widely used. Also, Yik Yak’s strategy to become mainstream by providing local news is a good idea. I can potentially see the app being used an an information/travel guide for local neighborhoods. For example, community events, local charities, clothing drives, etc..I realize it’s a far stretch, but if planned properly I can see Yik Yak going mainstream.

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