In the modern age, there are heaps and heaps of social media and internet communications options. There’s Faceplant Facebook, Twitter and others. There are also Chinese versions of all these emerging into the world, WeChat and Weibo to name a few. Of course, there are heaps of little ones too, some more successful than others. One of the most well known social media and communications firms in recent times has been Yik Yak. Unfortunately, the company has kept running into difficulties, and an announcement has been made as Yik Yak shuts down operations and liquidates assets.
Yik Yak was once worth over US$400 million. It was an up and coming company seen to be the next great success. Except it wasn’t. There was no business plan, no revenue and no idea about how to get to either of those objectives. Launched initially as a messaging program for college students who wanted to ensure their anonymity. Initially, it worked extremely well, its popularity amongst American universities and colleges. However, it couldn’t continue its climb to the stratosphere.
As it became clear Yik Yak was unsustainable, the vultures began to circle. Though the company lasted far longer than other apps promising anonymous communications, the worth of its liquidation seems to be quite low given what must the considerable intellectual property its employees held. Apparently, the online payments company Square managed to plunder a lot of Yik Yak’s former engineering talent for about US$1 million. That sounds like a bargain no matter what your opinions on Yik Yak’s operations.
The company’s co-founders, Brooks Buffington and Tyler Droll wrote that: “the time has come… for our paths to part ways, as we’ve decided to make our next moves as a company. To that end, we’ll begin winding down the Yik Yak app over the coming week as we start tinkering around with what’s ahead for our brand, our technology, and ourselves.”
The announcements as Yik Yak shuts down comes at the end of a tumultuous period. The company had to lay off 60 percent of its staff at the end of last year due to sliding user numbers and revenue. It also made major missteps with its customer base, and became a magnet for controversy when it was used as a means to make threats against people online. Not exactly great for a company’s reputation is it? While it’s not the last anonymous messaging service left, Yik Yak’s demise means there’s one less floating around now.