I was scrolling down my Yik-yak feed a few days ago, and came across a post asking if Yik-yak was considered a form of social media or not. I knew that I saw Yik-yak as social media, and judging by the responses to the post, it seemed that most people agreed with me. For those that do not know, Yik-yak is similar to Twitter, but the posts are anonymous and location based. For example, when I open the app when I am on or near Temple's campus, all I will see are posts from people near me. Yik-yak has said that this is because they do not want people under 18 years of age to use the app, as most of the content is not monitored, except by the community. As you view your Yik-yak feed, you have the ability to up or down-vote every post; they start at zero and if they get to negative five, they are automatically deleted by the system. Posts with a very high number can make it into a 'Top Rated' category, viewable by anyone using the app, anywhere. The app is primarily aimed at college students, so the locations in which posts are grouped go by colleges, which you can search for and view, but not vote on. Here is the link to the Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yik_Yak.
While these two apps might not seem immediately conducive to us in the public relations world, I have already seen examples of how they can be. On Tinder, every so often you will get an advertisement instead of a person; if you swipe right on the ad it will give you more information about it. The last one I heard about was ads for an upcoming Jason Derulo concert, swiping right would bring you to a page where you could enter to win free tickets. Both of these apps are definitely aimed at college- age people, so any company or product that wants to reach those audiences should make use of these apps. Yik-yak has started introducing hiring people to be their brand ambassadors on college campuses; intended to promote usage of the app. Since anyone is able to post to the app as long as they are within a certain area, it should be easy to create and upload posts by any PR professional, looking to expand their company's social media presence.
Have any thoughts on Yik-yak or Tinder as social media? Let us know in the comments, we would love to hear from you!
This post was authored by Faiz Mandviwalla, a senior at Temple University and an Assistant Firm Director with PRowl Public Relations. You can follow him on Twitter here.