How to Use Yik Yak

Yik Yak is a social media application that advertises itself as an anonymous sharing platform, perfect for expressing yourself and forming a community - it gained much traction among college students in the early 2010s. The app just relaunched after shutting down in 2017, and it is available to download on iOS devices. Yik Yak has three primary features: (1) users can create, comment on, and view discussion threads; (2) all posts are anonymous; and, (3) the threads that you, as a user, have access to are within a five-mile radius of your location.  This minHour article will guide you through various steps and features so you can better understand how to use Yik Yak!

Getting Started on Yik Yak

Download the app.

Open up the App Store on your iOS device and tap the “Search” icon in the lower right corner of your screen. Tap on the upper search bar and type in ‘Yik Yak.’ Navigate to the app titled “Yik Yak” with the thumbnail of a brown animal on a turquoise background. Download and open the app.

  • It is completely free to download!

Set up your account.

After opening the app, tap the “Verify Your Humanity” button.

Confirm your account.

Type in your phone number in the provided box and tap “Send Code.” Enter the code that Yik Yak just texted to you and tap “Confirm.”

Tap on the “Community Guardrails” button.

Yik Yak provides a page on ‘Community Guardrails’ that essentially outlines the privacy policy, equity/bullying guidelines, and responsibilities that you have as a user of the app. We will guide you through more safety resources later.

  • This button is located below the “Start Tutorial” button (this page pops up directly after you verify your phone number). You can view the policies and guidelines at the guardrails page.

Complete your tutorial.

Tap on the “Start Tutorial” button and then tap through the seven pages. Tap on the orange button at the bottom of your screen to move through these pages.

Give Yik Yak access to your location.

Because of the 5-mile radius feature, you must allow Yik Yak to access your location. Do this by filling out the pop-up window after you finish the tutorial.

  • We suggest choosing “Allow While Using App” so Yik Yak only asks you this once.

Navigating the Yik Yak Interface

View the main posts page.

The home page of the app displays the most recent Yaks – or, posts – by anonymous people in your ‘herd’ (Yik Yak’s term for the people within a 5-mile radius). The top post is always the most recent, but simply scroll down to look at previous posts.

Navigate between “New” and “Hot” Yaks.

These two sections have corresponding buttons at the top of your screen. Yik Yak will default to “New,” but simply tap on the “Hot” button to view those Yaks.

  • “New” refers to the newest posts in your herd. “Hot” refers to posts that have gained more traction and popularity within your herd.

Refresh the page.

To view any new posts, simply scroll up on the home page (that is, drag your finger from top to bottom).

View Comments on Yaks.

If a Yak has comments, there will be turquoise text underneath the post, detailing the number of comments it has. Tap on this text to view the comments.

Access the side menu.

Tap the rectangular icon with grey dots in the lower right corner. This is where you can find the tutorial (“How Yik Yak Works” button), the “Community Guardrails” button, a map with your herd radius, and additional Yik Yak features below those three buttons.

View other Yak categories.

In addition to “New” and “Hot” Yaks, there are three other categories of Yaks that you can access through the side menu: “Local Top Yaks,” “Nationwide Top Yaks,” and “Nationwide Hot Yaks.” Just tap on each label to view!

Posting and Responding to Yaks

Write a Yak.

Tap on the pencil icon in the lower right corner. Type out your Yak here!

  • Take note that your Yak must be 200 characters or less.

Post a Yak.

Tap on the “Ready to Send” button once you are ready to post. Next, swipe up on your screen (there will be instructions directing you to do so). Your Yak is now live!

Comment on a Yak.

Tap on the grey bar beneath the Yak labeled ‘Comment.’ The app will then send you to a new page with your keyboard. Write out your comment and press ‘Send’ next to the message – your comment is now live!

‘Upvote’ a Yak.

If you particularly like a Yak, tap on the up arrow directly above the displayed number of points (to the right of the Yak). This action is called ‘upvoting’ a Yak.

  • Upvotes are how Yaks gain popularity – each upvote adds a point to the overall user rating number.

‘Downvote’ a Yak.

If you do not like a Yak, tap on the down arrow directly below the displayed number of points. ‘Downvoting’ will decrease the overall user rating of a Yak.

  • If a Yak reaches below -5, the post will automatically delete.

View your ‘Yakarma.

’ Yakarma are points that you earn for interacting with Yik Yak. You may earn points through commenting, yakking (that is, posting), and gaining upvotes (we will explain what this is later!). You can always see your Yakarma score in the upper right corner of the screen.

  • Your Yakarma is only visible to yourself, and you start with 100 points.

Utilizing Yik Yak’s Resources

Access Yik Yak’s resources.

Yik Yak has plenty of mental health and safety resources if you ever find a post harmful or need extra guidance on general life safety. There are three main resources all located in the side menu (other than the Community Guardrails, which you can find information on earlier in the article).

Tap on the ‘Stay Safe Resources’ tab in the side menu.

This displays various guidance on staying safe outside of the app, including information about ride-sharing, bullying, substance consumption, and more.

Tap on the ‘Mental Health Resources’ tab in the side menu.

This displays information on general mental health guidance, as well as other resources available to you.

Turn on ‘Cuss Buster.

’ First, tap on the ‘More Options’ tab in the side menu. Next, tap on the ‘Cuss Buster’ button at the top of your screen. This will hide any inappropriate language in Yaks and comments.

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