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Q&A: How Yik Yak wants to weed out abuse and become the next Twitter

Zach Miners | Oct. 14, 2014
Yik Yak CEO Tyler Droll and Chief Operating Officer Brooks Buffington lay out their vision.

IDG: What's next for Yik Yak?
Droll: Twitter started out silly, like, 'What am I having for lunch?' Now it's one the world's best news sources. I think we could challenge that. And the way we'd do that is through the feature Peek. As it works now, it allows you to look into [posts from other schools]. But what we'll be adding is, you would be able to create your own location, and search anywhere in the world. You could type in 'Paris,' now I'm in the middle of Paris, and I see this feed of yaks in Paris. And then you can save the feed as "Paris." Imagine there's newsworthy events happening somewhere in the world, and the whole world is using Yik Yak to look in while it's unfolding. Peek's been out since last spring, but this new feature, to look in anywhere in the world, should be out within a few weeks. And the fact that it's anonymous protects people's privacy.

IDG: Any plans to bring ads to the service?
Buffington: That's way far away. Right now we're focused on growing the user base and improving the experience. If we ever did, we'd be prime for local ads.

IDG: Do you wish you were based in Silicon Valley or San Francisco?
Buffington: I think there's an advantage being in Atlanta. It's easier to get more loyal talent. Who would you rather work for, Coca-Cola or Yik Yak? A lot of people come out to California because there's fun things to work for. But I think being separated from all the hoopla that goes on out here has been good in terms of keeping our heads down, and, up until now, flying under the radar.


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