A 22-year-old's guide to Yik Yak, the super-hot anonymous gossip app that schools are banning

You may have heard of Yik Yak, the anonymous gossip app that lets you post anything you want without revealing who you are.

It’s been around for about a year, and since then the Atlanta-based startup has raised $US73.5 million in venture capital funding from investors including Kevin Colleran, Tim Draper, and Sequoia Capital.

We’ve put together a guide to show you how to use Yik Yak, which has already wreaked havoc on high schools and colleges. It was live my last spring at Syracuse when I was a senior there. Now it has spread to 1,600 colleges across the nation.

Here's what it looks like when you open Yik Yak.

Since Yik Yak is location-based, you'll have to give the app permission to use your location. You don't have to register with Yik Yak; there's no login process or usernames. It's completely anonymous.

When you load the app, you're shown the newest Yaks within a 1.5-mile radius of you.

Switch to the 'hot' tab at the top to see the most popular Yaks in your area. Yaks are short blurbs of text that all users can upvote or downvote.

Here's your Yakarma score, in the upper left-hand corner. When you download the app, you start with 100 points. You get a point each time you upvote or downvote someone's Yak. You get 2 points for every Yak you post, and a point each time your Yak gets upvoted. Your Yakarma doesn't really do anything for you, besides give some indication of how much you're interacting with the app.

Tap on the button in the upper right corner to write your own Yak.

Before you post for the first time, Yik Yak will remind you of its rules.

You have 200 characters to every Yak -- slightly more than a tweet. Use them wisely!

You can also add a Yak handle -- basically the Yak equivalent of a hashtag -- to your Yak. When you're done, post your Yak, and it will join the stream.

Here's what a Yak looks like when it's posted. Click into it and you can see people's replies (you can leave one, too) and the upvotes and downvotes on both the Yak and its replies.

Tap on the 'me' button at the bottom of the screen to see your notifications and to change your settings.

Here's where you'll see replies to your Yaks, and other notifications.

When you tap on the 'My Stuff' section, you can see your Yaks, your replies, and your settings.

Go into settings and you can set up Yaktivity, which backs up your account and saves all your Yaks and your Yakarma. Yakarma comes in handy if Yik Yak's marketing team visits your campus. The higher your number, the more schwag you'll be given, like Yik Yak socks and koozies.

You can also elect to protect your Yaks and replies.

You have the choice to switch up which side upvotes appear on in the main page -- by default, they're on the right, but you can put them on the left instead.

You can also enable the 'double tap to upvote' feature, which lets you tap twice to upvote in lieu of pressing the up arrow button on each post.

Once you're familiar with the homescreen, you can check out another cool Yik Yak feature: Peek. Tap the binoculars at the bottom of the screen.

Here's what you'll see when you click on Peeks. You can take a look at Yik Yak's specialised, featured Yaks, look anywhere in the world with a customised peek, or peek at a number of schools Yik Yak features.

Here's a peek at Yik Yak's 'Spring Break Staycation Plans' Yaks.

Now return to Peeks and tap on the magnifying glass in the upper right corner.

You can peek anywhere.

Just type in a location (If you try to use Yik Yak at a high school, you won't be allowed -- Yik Yak geofences around high schools to prevent highschoolers from using the app).

Then give it a name and save it in your Yaks.

You can see all the Yaks within a 1.5-mile radius of the location you've pinned.

Once you save your customised Peek, you can look at Yaks there anytime.

You can also choose to look at Yaks from any number of schools that Yik Yak features.

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