Technology

Wednesday Buzz: The State of Anonymous Social Apps

By / May 6, 2015 Yik Yak founders Brooks Buffington and Tyler Droll. (Handout photo)

While Secret’s recent demise has raised questions about the viability of anonymous social apps, a key competitor is still riding high. Here’s why. Also: One association exec shares her insights on trade group culture.

Last week, the social network Secret, which allowed users to post anonymous messages, saw its quick growth sputter out—and its founders shut it down. Lights out, that’s it.

But Secret’s demise doesn’t mean anonymous apps are altogether out of vogue. In fact, one of its competitors, Yik Yak, is reaching new heights: Its funding topped $70 million at last count.

Part of the reason for that might be that the company is willing to step in when problems arise. In an interview at TechCrunch Disrupt on Tuesday, Yik Yak founders Brooks Buffington and Tyler Droll noted that their goal has never been growth for the sake of growth.

Yik Yak has been willing to make bold moves to ensure that its product’s focus remains on community rather than mere anonymity. For example, the company blocked all access to the network near high schools nationwide, ensuring that it couldn’t be used for cyberbullying. That move could have threatened the app’s momentum; instead, it did the opposite.

The result has been a success story that could provide lessons for associations trying to build communities of their own—anonymous or not.

“People feel such an attachment to this group of people,” Buffington said during the interview.

Get Your Culture Working

In the latest in CEO Update‘s series of interviews with association leaders, Jo Ann Emerson, CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, discusses the steps necessary to build a great association culture. Watch the clip for more details.

Other Links of Note

Here’s unlikely advice from Lifehacker: If you’re looking to maximize productivity at the airport, board your plane last.

Guy Kawasaki may know a bunch about the for-profit world, but his advice on boards easily translates to nonprofits, too.

Did you miss Jamie Notter and Maddie Grant at ASAE’s 2015 Great Ideas Conference? You’ll have another chance to see them talk about their new book, When Millennials Take Over, in DC next week. Learn more here.

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. More »

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