The popular mobile application Yik Yak rolled out an update recently that has caused an uproar from those that use it. Yik Yak is an app that allows users to chat with others based on their current location, making it popular at tourism locations and college campuses across the world. It uses a system similar to that of Reddit, allowing users to upvote and downvote posts and get karma for it.
In the past, the majority of users would post anonymously, making the app great for venting, asking for help regarding sensitive topics, or even hooking up with other users. With this update, however, users are forced to take responsibility for their posts and cannot avoid being identified for things they have said in the past. While this will significantly reduce bullying, which was likely Yik Yak's goal with this update, it definitely puts off a lot of users from using this app any further. People from around the world have already begun expressing their discontent with the removal of anonymity, whether it be by sending complaints to the developers or posting in their local feeds.
In addition to removing the ability to be anonymous, the update has removed the My Herd feature, which allowed users to post in areas they are not in currently. This means that people who attend college can no longer communicate with other users on campus if they are not there themselves. Feeds in these locations have already seen an extreme decrease in posts due to this update, as the majority of the users who post there during the summer are not on campus but rather using the app to stay connected with those who are. The forced handle update was announced shortly before it was put into effect, but there was no communication about the removal of herds, so this comes as a disappointing surprise to a number of people.
Yik Yak's facebook page has already received thousands of complaints about the update, with most of the attention focused on the removal of the My Herd feature. Additionally, the Yik Yak's rating on the app store and Google play has dropped tremendously from a flood of one-star reviews criticizing the update. In contrast, apps similar to Yik Yak have experienced a sudden spike in popularity as people seek alternatives to stay connected with their fellow students at university. As of now, we can only hope that both of these unpopular updates are removed.