Atlanta-Based Yik Yak Messaging App Is Shutting Down | WABE 90.1 FM

Atlanta-Based Yik Yak Messaging App Is Shutting Down

May 3, 2017

This is the last week in business for Atlanta-based technology startup Yik Yak. Co-founders Tyler Droll and Brooks Buffington announced recently that operations for Yik Yak, an anonymous messaging app, would be shutting down.

Yik Yak users used the app to create and view posts – called Yaks – within a five-mile radius.

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Once valued at more than $300 million, Yik Yak launched in 2013 and quickly became Atlanta's darling startup success story.

Droll and Buffington founded the company shortly after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Since then, Yik Yak quickly became a popular app for college students on more than 2,000 college campuses.

One of its early investors was Atlanta Ventures and it became one of the first startups to graduate from the Atlanta Tech Village's incubator program. 

Last week, several Yik Yak employees left to work for the Atlanta financial technology company Square.

But ultimately, the anonymity of the mobile app led to its downfall. Several universities blocked the app on their Wi-Fi networks after students protested how it handled hate speech and cyberbullying posted by anonymous users.

Last year, students requested that Emory ask Yik Yak for a geofence around the university and its Oxford College campus.