Browse Definitions:

Yik Yak

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore


Yik Yak is a microblogging app that allows people to post messages (yaks) without user names; the mobile app aggregates and presents the posts of users within a 1.5 mile radius as a streaming data feed.

Users can reply to messages anonymously and vote posts and replies up or down. The app combines instant messaging and GPS technologies to enable posting within the specified geographical area. Geofencing be used to block Yik Yak within specified areas.

Yik Yak features include:

  • Yakarma: A numerical score based on upvotes and downvotes received and given.
  • Upvote/Downvote: User votes to raise or lower the score of a yak. The higher the score, the more it affects Yakarma. Yaks that reach a score of -5, on the other hand, are automatically deleted.
  • Peek: Enables view-only access to Yik Yak community feeds from other areas, such as college or university feeds.
  • New/Hot Tabs: The option to switch between a chronological feed and a feed of the most popular yaks, based on upvotes.
  • Other Top Yaks: The current Google image result page from searches for the word "yak". Typically all images of the animal.
  • My Herd: Allows users to designate an area such as their home, workplace or campus as their base camp and post to it even when they are not in range.
  • Photos: Allows users to include images in yaks. Photos are moderated for unacceptable content and displayed in grids of locally-posted images.

After Yik Yak launched in 2013, it was criticized for providing an anonymous channel for cyberbullying. Multiple high-profile incidents led the developers to block the app near high schools and middle schools the following year.

Although Yik Yak enables anonymous posting, that doesn't mean that messages can't be traced back to their sources. Users are required to provide a phone number for sign up and Yik Yak stipulates that they can provide police with user IP addresses, GPS coordinates, device details and data and time for each message if supported by a search warrant, court order or subpoena. As a result, Yik Yak users have been arrested for making threats of violence in their posts.

According to some security and privacy experts, what Yik Yak offers is really pseudoanonymity -- the appearance of anonymity, but not the reality.

See a brief introduction to Yik Yak:

This was last updated in November 2015

Continue Reading About Yik Yak

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.


File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:


  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces.

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...


  • federated identity management (FIM)

    Federated identity management (FIM) is an arrangement that can be made among multiple enterprises to let subscribers use the same...

  • cross-site scripting (XSS)

    Cross-site scripting (XSS) is a type of injection security attack in which an attacker injects data, such as a malicious script, ...

  • firewall

    In computing, a firewall is software or firmware that enforces a set of rules about what data packets will be allowed to enter or...



  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...


  • volume manager

    A volume manager is software within an operating system (OS) that controls capacity allocation for storage arrays.

  • external storage device

    An external storage device, also referred to as auxiliary storage and secondary storage, is a device that contains all the ...

  • NetApp SolidFire

    NetApp SolidFire is a business division of NetApp Inc. that specializes in all-flash storage systems.


  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.