The East Texan

Commerce’s Disappearing Herd

Courtesy/Google Play

BJ Laudermilk, Staff Writer

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The students at Texas A&M University- Commerce might be a Pride of Lions, but according to the social media app Yik Yak, we are a Herd of Lions. That’s because the app designates groups of people in a certain area as a Herd.

Yik Yak has been around since its launch in 2013. Two graduates of Furman University, Tyler Droll and Brooks Buffington, developed the app and now serve as the CEO and COO of the company. The app was developed for people to have the ability to create and view discussion threads within a five mile radius of them (thanks to the phone’s GPS).

Jared Taylor, senior Radio-Television major, says he still uses the app, but not as much anymore.

“Last year campus was really popular with Yik Yak,” he said. “You would go on there in the middle of the day and there would be people on there putting up posts, a new one every five minutes or so, but now hardly anyone is on there.”

Despite the app reaching number nine in terms of most downloaded social media app back in 2014, the number of students around Commerce and across the country who still use it has decreased in recent months.

“They have set it up to where you can’t post anonymously anymore, and that was a big part of why so many people used it,” Taylor said. “You now have to have a username or handle, and also a user picture.”

After the update that forced users to give up their anonymity, the app has taken a dive in user ratings, now drawing only one out of five stars on the iOS App Store.

“Even though you have a handle, you’re still anonymous,” Taylor said. “But at the same time, after you make so many posts, people are gonna try and figure out who you are based on your username.”

Yik Yak doesn’t limit users to just posts from within five miles of them. They have a feature that allows users to “peek” at what other users are saying from anywhere around the country and around the world.

“You can read a bunch of posts from a bunch of other colleges, but you can’t like or comment on it,” Taylor said. “That’s the only negative side of it.”

You can find Yik Yak on the App Store on iOS, Google Play Store on Android, and an online version at www.yikyak.com.

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Commerce’s Disappearing Herd