Yik Yak: An Exploratory Study of College Student Uses and Gratifications

Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society 37 (1):23-33 (2017)
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Abstract

Publically launched in 2013 and discontinued in 2017, Yik Yak was an anonymous and geographically restricted social media application. A uses and gratifications theoretical framework and a mixed-methods research design were selected for this exploratory study regarding differences between Yik Yak users and nonusers. College students (n = 264) from a western university completed online surveys regarding Yik Yak in November of 2015. Results indicated that Yik Yak users were significantly younger than nonusers, and no significant differences were identified between Yik Yak users’ and nonusers’ reported time spent with other social media platforms (i.e., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat). Qualitative results indicated that college students who used Yik Yak did so for informational, entertainment, agency-enhancement, and community-building purposes. Nonusers chose not to use Yik Yak because the application did not meet their needs, they were unaware of Yik Yak, and because of unfavorable content.

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