Yik Yak

http://www.yikyakapp.com

A rhetorical analysis of a website/app I access the most: Yik Yak.

Audience
This app was made to appeal to the younger demographic: age 18-25. Specifically, college students. However, the secondary audience would most likely be faculty members and even professors. Some are known to use this app to scope out what is being said amongst students. Both audience take pleasure in creating anonymous posts and developing conversations without the prerequisites of prior communications or connections. The author appeals to these values by programming certain design elements into the app. Every content a user posts has a display image of an object or an image that says “OP”- which allows other users to know who the original post is. These images allow privacy so users may post whatever they desire with the comfort of being anonymous.

Purpose
The overall intentions for the texts being used in this app is to deliver relevant, timely content to local areas. Thus, forming a localized social forum. Posts are typically lighthearted and humorous in nature. Users are able to see that it is local because the app has geolocation tools which limit interactions with other users within a 1.5 mile radius. So for example, one user this morning asks “Does anyone know if you have to pay to use the rec if you’re not taking summer classes?” Another user states “To the girl working at Dissmores this morning: You’re fucking beautiful!” Both of these posts are from users that live within close proximity of one another. The Rec and Dissmores are both in Pullman, therefore the app contributes to the notion that it is indeed a localized social forum. The posts then expire within 100 days keeping information being spread, relevant.
Another intention this app may have would be to provide opportunities for confessions amongst other users. The content being posted is not always light hearted and humorous. For example, a post made yesterday stated “I want to kill myself. There’s just no point in living” Another post states “I sell used panties for a living and have been receiving over $1000 a week.” These posts appear to be confessions or confidential information.

Context
The possible social and cultural connotations within the texts are to help build communities. For example one post a few days ago said “Hey, we’re playing basketball at the rec. If anyone would like to join us we’ll be meeting at 5. You don’t have to be good at it, just need an extra player.” Another post from several months ago asked “Who else saw 50 shades of Grey? What did you think?” These posts can be upvoted, down voted and commented upon. Allowing interactions with other users. Users that are in Pullman may post about boyfriend or girlfriend issues and receive advice from their peers without even knowing them. This helps build a stronger community knowing that the ones helping them are a fellow Coug.
Users may gain access through the site by downloading the app-which is the most common way. Google searching or perhaps a link on another site is also another option. Users interact with this site typically on their smart phone or tablets. Allowing them to post opinions within the palm of their hands wherever they go.

Author
The author that created the app is a graduate of Furman University. He is around the age of 23. I feel that establishes credibility because he was recently in college and therefore understands the value of what life is like as a college student. This implies that his idea of creating a virtual bulletin board that allows users to post whatever they desire to possibly be beneficial to other college students. The author comes across as hip. He seems well informed about the latest ideas, developments and styles and he shows this by taking measures to help ensure sustainability within his app. Users can see this by the frequent updates being made. The author seems to have a reputation of being highly committed to his project. He dropped out of med school just to go full time designing this app and now it is ranked the 9th most visited social media app in the United States. The text supports this because of the amount of users using this app. One of the newest features on this app is called “Peek” which allows users to view other posts from different colleges in the US. Users can see, but they cannot reply. So we’re able to see how effective his commitment to this app can be.

Genre
I would define the genre of this this text as a website, but to be more specific: A social network. Yik Yak is very similar to another social media called “Twitter.” The design elements of both sites are very similar in appearance. They both visually have a simple interface and contain user’s posts. Only difference is Yik Yak is private and you’re able to upvote and down vote on Yik Yak posts. Also you’re able to see posts from all over the region with twitter. Yik Yak’s features makes it apart of the genre I mentioned because it enables users to create and share content with other participants using the app.

Video example that utilizes five multimodal modes

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