Yik Yak is a social media app that is connecting college students anonymously. It is available on iOS and android. The founders of the popular startup, Tyler Droll and Stephen “Brooks” Buffington created the app to help give a voice to everyone in a local community. Because of the anonymity, users are more free to post opinions and stories than they are on other non-anonymous social media apps. The original intent of Droll and Buffington was for college kids to share funny stories about campus life, but the site has blossomed into much more.
Yik Yak connects people in a community with a 5 mile radius. The app instantly connects the people of a particular community, such as a college or university campus. Users of the app can post up to 200 character messages, and Yik Yak recently implemented a photo sharing capability after users wanted it. Today, the app is used in more than 1600 college communities, and Droll and Buffington hope that college users will stay loyal and Yik Yak will expand to older users as Facebook did.
He and Yik Yak’s co-founder developed the idea in college
Tyler Droll and Brooks Buffington were college friends when they created the idea for the Yik Yak app. The 2 met in a coding class at Furman University and were fraternity brothers. The Greenville, South Carolina university is one of the leading liberal arts universities in the United States. While in school, Droll and Buffington became interested in creating an anonymous app that students could post on locally. The idea was for people to be able to say things that they might not normally post on non-anonymous social media sites. Droll and Buffington developed an app that failed but learned from their mistakes when they created Yik Yak. Yik Yak is one of the fastest growing start ups companies.
He is from Georgia
Tyler Droll is from Deluth, Georgia. The youngest of 2 sons, Tyler spent time with his family living in Argentina until he was 7 years old when the Droll family returned to Georgia. His father works in finance for Bell South International. An avid Tennis player, Tyler played in high school and at Furman University. Tyler is very much involved with the technical side of Yik Yak despite the fact that he did not become interested in coding until college. Both Tyler and Brooks are all American Millennials. They do not consider themselves nerds but are normal young adults who like to have a good time. At 24 years old, Tyler and Brooks are successful businessmen and popular locals in the Atlanta community. man University.
While seniors at Furman University, Tyler and Brooks, along with a fraternity brother, worked together on several apps, mostly for class projects. Their first app was called “Fry Cook” and was a gaming app. Another app that they had hopes for was called “Dicho” for dichotomy. It was basically a trivia app that became popular but never went viral.
He dropped out of medical school
Tyler Droll chose Furman University for its pre-med program and for tennis. Always interested in science, Tyler wanted to become a doctor. He became interested in computer science in college and, despite enrolling in medical school at USC Greenville, Tyler decided to drop out and spend his energy launching Yik Yak. His parents had faith in his skills and supported his decision. Yik Yak was launched in November
He is great at raising money
Tyler Droll quickly raised money to get the Yik Yak app up and running. To date, the company has raised $73 million. This includes a $62 million Series B round. The company’s value was $400 million after just 1 year. Today, the app has millions of monthly users.
He hopes Yik Yak will expand
As CEO of Yik Yak, Inc., Tyler Droll hopes to continue the expansion of the popular app. He believes that as college students graduate, they will stay loyal to the brand and continue using the app. Much like Facebook started with high school and college students and expanded to include older users, Yik Yak hopes to continue its growth as well as adding new features. Some features the company is looking at include the addition of video and new ways to break up users’ feeds.
How Yik Yak works to prevent cyberbullying
An obvious concern with an anonymous social media outlet is that it will propel cyberbullying and other offensive content. In the beginning, the app did have some offensive posts by users. Tyler Droll, Brooks Buffington and the 45 employees of Yik Yak, Inc. have taken precautions to prevent offensive content. The company still personally oversees what is posted to assure the content is not offensive, including photos shared with the app. A word filter is also used in the app. A pop up warning occurs when offensive language is posted.
The logo is…a Yak
The obvious company logo is a Yak despite the fact that users of the app are termed “Yakers”. The fast growing company recently moved into larger headquarters. Their office in Atlanta, Georgia is modern and funky. They have a large mural on one wall with a painting of a Yak and mushrooms. The young company has a fun and playful attitude.
Yik Yak has helped people
Yik Yak’s intent was to create an equal voice for everyone in a local community. It has also become a way for college students to advertise fund raisers for charitable causes, plan parties, and arrange study groups. One thing that has become evident is that the site has helped users. Because of the anonymity, some users have posted about being depressed and possibly suicidal. The feedback they receive has been positive and supportive, hopefully preventing them from not seeking help.
A couple recently got engaged
Although never intended as a dating site, the Yik Yak app has inadvertently connected people in a local community. It came to the attention of Tyler Droll that a couple who met through Yik Yak recently became engaged. Yik Yak may be connecting people who might not meet despite living in close proximity.