The tech market is a hard playing field – sometimes even relatively big players fall hard on the ground. Yik Yak, the anonymous chat app which lets you communicate with people in a certain radius, is officially being shut down.While it has been clear for a while now that Yik Yak had been heading down this road, the news of the app’s actual end showcase how tough the tech startup field can be, even if your idea goes off. In 2013, when Yik Yak was first founded, anonymous apps were just starting to become popular. Being one of the first ones and targeting a specific group, college students, Yik Yak took off quite quickly.
At its best times, the app was valued at around 400 million US dollars and even gathered 73 million in venture capital funding. At its worst however, it was a platform for abuse and harassment which never quite could manage a firm grip on the content posted on it. Having tons of competitors and Snapchat on top of that didn’t help.
In December of 2016, the app laid off 60 percent of its staff. Now, the engineering team of the app has been acquired by the mobile payments company Square. “Building Yik Yak – both the app you used and the company that powered it – was the greatest, hardest, most enjoyable, most stressful, and ultimately most rewarding experience we’ve ever had,” the app’s founders Tyler Droll and Brooks Buffington said in a blog post announcing the shutdown.