Notorious network Yik Yak returns with new app

Users must identify themselves this time

Social networking app Yik Yak generated more than its share of headaches for faculty and administrators during its prime.

Yik Yak allowed users to post anonymous messages that only people in the same geographic area could read. The anonymity of the network tended to attract spiteful comments and bullying; some students called for banning the network on their campuses.

Now, tech journalists report that the founders behind Yik Yak have quietly released a new app, called Hive. Hive's homepage describes the app as "an exclusive social network for college campuses." Hive allows users to join pre-loaded chat rooms dedicated to specific classes, majors, or interests, according to Josh Constine at TechCrunch. Users will also be able to see others who joined their class chat rooms and send private messages.

And unlike Yik Yak, Hive requires users to identify themselves.

So far, Hive is only active at Furman University—the alma mater of Yik Yak's founders—according to Casey Newton at The Verge. But other users can request to join a wait list with their .edu email addresses.

Hive's ready-to-go chat rooms could be appealing to students, Newton writes. The ability to see who else is in your classes was one of Facebook's early features. But the app faces stiff competition from other social media networks, and Hive's setup could create a lot of irrelevant noise for users, Constine notes.

Lindsay McKenzie at the Chronicle of Higher Education asked college students and officials about the app and received lukewarm responses. One student said people just "aren't talking about it as much as Yik Yak" (Constine, TechCrunch, 2/13; Newton, The Verge, 2/13; McKenzie, Chronicle of Higher Education, 2/20). 

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