Feb 13, 2017

Yik Yak's new crack at building a college social network

The team behind Yik Yak, a once-buzzy anonymous app aimed at college campuses, is back with a new take on the idea of a "Twitter feed for the college campus."

The new app: Hive, as it's called, quietly popped up in the App Store this month, registered under Richard Guy, Yik Yak's mobile development manager, according to his LinkedIn profile. The Verge first picked up on the app on Monday. On outset, Hive appears to be a new attempt at creating a social network exclusively for college students, where they can chat with their peers about classes, campus goings-ons, and anything else. (It's like Facebook in the early days, but made for smartphones, if you will.)

Joining the Hive: Only college students with a valid .edu email address can join the app, further ensuring that its remain a college-campus app. When a student joins, they'll be able to immediately find chat rooms for any class on their campus, and even access a directory of students (let's leave aside the privacy violation here for a moment).

What about Yik Yak? Despite garnering a lot of buzz in 2014 and 2015, Yik Yak's original app eventually lost its luster. In December, The Verge reported that the company laid off 60% of its staff, leaving it with about 20 employees. Months earlier, the company's CTO left the company. The company had tried a myriad of changes to the app, including forcing users to post with real names, though it eventually gave up and returned to anonymous posting. Hive, however, is not anonymous—likely a sign that the team found anonymity to be a bad idea.

What's next: Yik Yak raised nearly $75 million funding from top-tier VCs like Sequoia Capital and DCM Ventures, so it's likely it still has plenty of money to fund this new app.

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