In April, the popular anonymous message application, Yik Yak, announced that it would be shutting down. This was the first of many anonymous messaging apps phasing out in the past and upcoming few months. What is responsible for this drop in users for these applications?
Anonymous Messaging Apps losing novelty and gaining privacy issues
Yik Yak was founded in 2013, as a way for high schoolers and college students to post anonymously and connect with other users in the area. Problems quickly arose with bullying and harassment that plagued Yik Yak throughout its four years. They attempted to add profiles in 2016 to mitigate some of the anonymity issues, however, the novelty of the app had expired.
Similarly, other anonymous message apps have also lost their novelty and have been continuously losing users. For example, Whisper recently laid off a large portion of its staff. This is largely due to the fact that there are so many issues with inability to control what users are posting. The problems with allowing users to post without anyone knowing who they are has created big privacy and safety issues, particularly on certain college campuses. For that reason, many of the anonymous message apps are phasing themselves out.
Could Sarahah Be Different?
That being said, some similar apps are still making their way into the public eye. For example, Sarahah has become increasingly popular. This app gives each user an individual URL and allows others to post comments about that user on their link. With Snapchat’s latest update allowing users to post links on their Snapchat stories, Sarahah is gaining more popularity. The idea is that this app will allow other people to tell users their strengths, weaknesses and improvements that they can make in their lives. Though slightly different than Yik Yak and Whisper, Sarahah could still face similar issues with bullying. Perhaps this will give a new life to the anonymous messaging apps that are phasing out.