Yik Yak users are protesting the app’s makeover after acquisition by Sidechat

Yik Yak users are enraged over the changes being made to the anonymous social app after its quiet acquisition by the similarly focused campus chat app, Sidechat. While Yik Yak had focused on anonymous posting within a local community, Sidechat is working to build private communities for colleges. Initially, Yik Yak had been pushing its users to migrate to the Sidechat app after the deal went through. But more recently, Yik Yak users tell us the company is pursuing a different strategy — instead of forced migrations, Yik Yak’s own app has been given a massive overhaul that effectively turns it into Sidechat.

As Yik Yak user Aaron Payment, a student at St. John Fisher University, told us, the updated Yik Yak app is just “Sidechat reskinned now.” They also noted that if you sign up for Sidechat, you’ll see everything on your local Yik Yak because both apps appear to now be running on the same servers.

“Not only did they change everything good about the app, but they made it so you have to use your college email to prove that you’re in college. That way, they can easily track you and share your data for marketing purposes,” Aaron explained. Before, Yik Yak only required a phone number to sign up.

It’s not clear whether the company has plans to track its users or share their data, but it’s a valid concern for users of a previously anonymity-focused app, and an example of the difficulties any sort of anonymous app would have in finding an exit. Any changes that disrupt the app’s prior commitment to end users around protecting their identities are going to be met with skepticism, distrust  and anger.

The latest changes were officially announced on Yik Yak’s Instagram account on Thursday where they soon received

Read More ...