Do you remember the days when Facebook was limited to college and university students? Yik Yak tried to recapture some of that exclusivity, but turned off many of its users by getting rid of anonymous posting. Usage of the app collapsed, and finally the company laid off 60 percent of its staff. Now, though, Yik Yak seems to have started over with an app called Hive, built to allow group messaging with people in your classes.
The founders of Yik Yak, now engaged in a Hive
Of course, it’s not quite so direct. The developer behind Hive is listed as Richard Guy, not Yik Yak. Searching for Guy on LinkedIn reveals that the developer is the mobile development manager at Yik Yak. For even more proof that Yik Yak is behind Hive, we can see in the app’s screenshots that Brooks Buffington, one of the founders of Yik Yak, is involved in the new development.
So what is Hive?
Hive is billed as “your exclusive college network.” It’s being developed for each individual campus throughout the country, and is supposed to enable group messaging with other students in your class, with people in your major, or with folks at school who have the same interests as you. In short, it’s what Facebook used to be, before Mark Zuckerberg decided to make that social networking platform more ubiquitous throughout all of society, not just higher education.
When can you get your own Hive?
You can download Hive now, but probably won’t be able to use it. It’s available for free on the App Store, but only works for Furman University, the South Carolina liberal arts institution where Yik Yak founders Buffington and Tyler Droll first met. Users at other institutions, assuming they have a .edu email address, can request to join a wait list.
Will it succeed?
That’s debatable. The app landscape is littered with options for messaging, including SMS, Facebook, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Kik, and Signal. Perhaps Hive’s exclusive audience for university and college students will help ensure its success, though. We’ll have to wait and see.