On September 1st, 2014 the Daily Tar Heel published an article explaining the explosion of interest in Yik Yak on the UNC Chapel Hill campus. When I was notified that Yik Yak was popular, again, on campus I hopped on just to see what was going on. I was so impressed that I stated that this could be one of the most viral apps since Snapchat. I wouldn’t go as far to say that is coming to fruition yet, but it is taking UNC by storm. The Daily Tar Heel article stated that 50 to 60 percent of people on the UNC campus have Yik Yak. That is a staggering number for an app that is less than a year old.
Having been active on Yik Yak for almost two weeks now I can say that UNC is, by far and away, one of the most active campuses. The Daily Tar Heel Yik Yak profile article mentioned that the creators of Yik Yak said they were having major server problems at two universities – Auburn and UNC. I can attest to the issues Yik Yak has been having in Chapel Hill. This screen has come up all too often:
Interestingly, it takes Yik Yak being completely down, for several hours, for this message to come up. When Yik Yak first goes down it will state there is an error loading the content. I have noticed this happens quite a bit in Chapel Hill. Honestly, on September 1st and September 2nd the servers were down throughout most of the day. With UNC students being off campus for Labor Day weekend it makes me wonder how the servers are going to hold up during a major event like a UNC vs Duke basketball game or a huge function in the Pit.
Auburn University is also a very active Yik Yak campus. Yik Yak featured the Arkansas vs Auburn college football game on Saturday, August 31st, 2014 and there was quite the activity. Many students were complaining about the heat and then the terrible storms that rolled in. With my location being in Chapel Hill I am unable to truly say just how active the Auburn Yik Yak is. That said, “peeking” at the Hot for Auburn tells me it is nothing compared to UNC. Here is a quick comparison of the top five in terms of upvotes;
It is very possible the UNC yaks are higher because the servers were fixed before the Auburn servers; we will never know. If Auburn is even close to as active as UNC I would be impressed. Almost all freshman and sophomores living on south campus in Hojo, Ehaus, Morrison and Craige are on Yik Yak every single night. They are blasting out Yaks making fun of Duke or NC State or just carrying on anonymous conversation.
As we move forward it will be interesting to see the college rivalries on Yik Yak. The Daily Tar Heel Yik Yak article showed the major difference in activity at UNC and Duke. You can find the graphic here. It is amazing to see just how many yaks are being sent by UNC students. This is the most viral “bulletin board” type app I have seen in a very long time. The one concern I have is that it is mostly freshman and sophomores as most upperclassman and graduate students are not active on Yik Yak. From the data, 6,172 students use the Yik Yak app at UNC. My guess is that most of these students are new to Chapel Hill and campus. There are thousands of UNC students looking to build Yakarma on an hourly basis but will the trend continue?