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Location is the new hashtag: Yik Yak aims to be the next Twitter

Caitlin McGarry | March 18, 2015
Yik Yak's founders took the stage at SXSW to talk about Twitter, cyberbullying, and world domination.

"We haven't had a fake bomb threat on Yik Yak in a long time," Buffington said. "If we notice you're posting something potentially threatening, a pop-up comes up and says, 'It looks like you're posting something threatening. Just want you to know that Yik Yak and law enforcement take this stuff seriously.' All of the instances where it happened, they found the kid and the person said, 'I thought it would be funny.' Kids are kind of stupid sometimes."

Yik Yak also uses geofencing to block high schools from being able to open the app because they're not mature enough to handle anonymity responsibly. When the app expands internationally, beginning with Canada, Britain, and Australia, the company will geofence every school prior to launch. The company is sticking to college kids as its primary audience, at least for now.

"That's the most powerful demographic to have, college campuses," Buffington said. "In a lot of ways, they're tastemakers for not only America, but the world. Any large social network has to pass the sniff test by college students before it goes anywhere else."

College students want to share photos and videos, so expect Yik Yak to add that capability soon--once the company figures out how to allow video- and photo-sharing while maintaining anonymity.

 

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