Welcome back Yik Yak. Or should I now say, Hive? The once popular mobile app, Yik Yak, has faded away after raising $73.5 million only a few years ago. And after laying off over 60% of its employees, Yik Yak is making an interesting return.
Hive allows college students to chat up people with the same classes, major or interests. It creates chat rooms for every class offered at your school, which presents a problem. Can’t I join whatever class I want, without actually being in the class? After you join a class, you can see your classmates profiles if they also joined Hive. Ultimately, you send one-on-one or group messages with your classmates. It also creates a directory of everyone on campus who has joined the app.
It aims to eliminate common problems students have. For example, asking other students for notes, or getting help on homework. Despite Yik Yak’s failure of retaining its targeted college students, they still believe in the potential of the college demographic.
The look and feel closely resembles the mobile collaboration app, Slack. Both apps allow you to swipe left to see the channels you’re a part of. Hive is also continuing with the same shade of green Yik Yak used, clearly not shying away from its precursor. The co-founder, Brooks Buffington, is even on the screenshots.
Hive is also capturing the feel of an early stage Facebook. Similar strategies are being used as the App is currently only available at a single college campus. It also uses Facebook’s original core features to see who is in your classes and it’s sign-up strategy for expanding to other schools.
At this moment, it’s only open at South Carolina’s Furman University. Furman University is where Tyler Droll and Brooks Buffington, Yik Yak’s co-founders, met. There’s also a Hive University, possibly a group for employees to test new features. If you want to see what Hive is all about, you’ll have to join a waitlist. Only if you have a .edu email that is.
Here’s where it gets interesting, though. It’s specifically designed to only allow college students to sign up, requiring a .edu email addresses. But wait, don’t professors have .edu emails as well…?
The dominance of chat apps has made them the focal points of the mobile industry. So how will Hive stand in the crowded world of messaging apps? Apparently, Facebook already has a Groups For Schools product focused around classes. But do you really think students would be willing to join yet another messaging app? There already is a clutter of messaging apps, why would students willingly join one focused on school?
There are still serious problems for Yik Yak to solve, but investors are praying for this to succeed.
By: Alex Siminoff