- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 29, 2017

Yik Yak, a controversial messaging application favored by college students, will soon go kaput, its co-founders announced Friday.

“The time has come… for our paths to part ways, as we’ve decided to make our next moves as a company,” co-founders Tyler Droll and Brooks Buffington wrote in a blog post.

“To that end, we’ll begin winding down the Yik Yak app over the coming week as we start tinkering around with what’s ahead for our brand, our technology and ourselves,” they added.

Launched in 2013, Yik Yak made a name for itself by letting users post messages with pseudo anonymity only visible within a certain radius. The service quickly gained popularity on college and high school campuses and was valued at close to $400 million the following year.

Despite gaining over $73 million in venture funding, however, Yik Yak failed to outperform other messaging apps and eventually waned in popularity, prompting the company to lay off more than half its staff late last year.

The app nonetheless managed to attract controversy throughout its four-year run, however, and was banned on multiple campuses for allegedly contributing to cyberbullying and the spreading of hate speech. In one instance, Colorado College in Colorado Springs booted two students from the school in 2015 after they shared messages deemed inappropriate by administrators.

According to a filing made with the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission last week, Yik Yak recently sold off its engineering team and some minor intellectual property to Square, a mobile payment company, for $1 million – a sliver of the company’s former value.

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