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How the BBC is using Yik Yak, the youngest of all the chat apps

Yik Yak

We’re big fans of chat apps here at Battenhall HQ. As social networks become messaging apps, messaging apps are becoming social networks, and the youngest of all these is Yik Yak. We first wrote about Yik Yak last February, then again back in January this year when its web version launched. Its user base started hyperlocal in North America, mainly at school and college campuses to begin with, but now it’s kind of a big deal all over. How it works is that users participate in ‘Yaks’ which are anonymous chats with others nearby. And 98 percent of users are millennials, pretty much the youngest skew you’ll find.

The BBC has been using Yik Yak to engage this audience with its international current affairs content, as reported in Journalism.co.uk. Starting with the Canadian elections in October 2015, then later around Mental Health Week in the UK in February 2016.

BBC News’s social and audience engagement lead, James Morgan, said to Journalism.co.uk:

We used Yik Yak as a direct channel to young voters we might never have found through traditional means. We had some really touching responses – young people sharing on depression, anxiety, and the embarrassment around mental health. And their peers upvoting them in support.

The full write-up of how the BBC’s experiments on Yik Yak and other messaging apps are going is available here.

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