Recently, I noticed Yik Yak’s Peek feature had been updated. You can now “peek” anywhere in the world. I think there is a very good chance that we could all look back on this as the most important thing to happen in social media in 2014. Here’s why.
If you aren’t familiar with Yik Yak, it is like an anonymous geo-social Twitter. Instead of posting tweets, users post yaks. You must be in about a 1.5mi radius of a Yak to engage with it. Engaging with a yak could be upvoting it, downvoting it, or replying to it. You can now “peek” on yaks; this means you can see yaks in any part of the world.
Before I went to bed last night I wrote about using Yik Yak on Black Friday (or Yak Friday shopping). It was a short Thanksgiving article as I was tripping on tryptophan. Before I went to sleep I decided to “Peek” on a few things. First, I wondered, what are people in Raleigh, North Carolina using Yik Yak for? Meh, a couple of kids partaking in activities that might make them crave cheese doodles. How about in Apex, NC, the area where I was just shopping? Nothing really, I had the most popular post, along with some other yakker who said it is now ok to get the Christmas decorations out since Thanksgiving was over (agreed). Hmmm, what was going on in Ferguson Missouri? I have been getting some of my news on Twitter lately and also watching #Ferguson on Twitter. Unfortunately, the majority of Yakkers in Ferguson were posting some pretty nasty things. The most upvoted post in the last 48hrs was “There is no point to Yik Yak once you leave college”. When I awoke this morning I realized just how incorrect that statement was.
Yik Yak and Yik Yak’s Peek feature could become extremely important. In a recent interview, Q&A: How Yik Yak wants to weed out abuse and become the next Twitter, Yik Yak CEO Tyler Droll says “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.” This could be huge.
It is no secret that most successful social media platforms start off on college campuses. That is how Yik Yak got its start. Unfortunately, many people think it is useless outside of campus. Indeed, it did start off as a place to build Yakarma via posting funny yaks. And, people do post threats to Yik Yak. But, people are indeed loading up the app when there is an incentive for them to do so, such as finding deals on Black Friday, and the more users there are on Yik Yak the more self-policing it will become. To discover people yakking outside of college campuses, just take a “Peek” at yaks in major cities.
Will Yik Yak become a source of news? This is the exact goal Yik Yak creators Tyler Droll and Brooks Buffington have in mind for the social app. In a recent Q&A Droll said the two hope that Yik Yak, which is now mainly just in the U.S. but can be used anywhere, becomes more global and can be used on a global scale amid international incidents as a communication means. This could also keep social media marketers and advertising out of streams people’s streams and prevent them from jumping on current trends.
If Yik Yak succeeds in becoming a news source, there is no doubt in my mind that Yik Yak will become a big part of the future of the web and that this brilliant new feature may very well be the most important thing to happen in social media in 2014.
Peek could be the peak of 2014.