The anonymous messaging app, which previously let users anonymously post text-based messages only, announced on Wednesday it plans on rolling out photo-sharing to all users over the next several days.
According to Yik Yak, employees will continue to moderate photos being uploaded by all users for the time being. It also reiterated guidelines, including no inappropriate photos — or "anything you wouldn't send to your mother" — or illegal content. Photos with faces won't be allowed in local feeds, but they will be allowed in photo collections, which can be found in the Explore section of the app.
All that speaks to how seriously the startup takes privacy and security these days, and for good reason. Yik Yak doesn't want to tackle controversy, like the kind it experienced last fall when a Los Angeles high school went into lockdown following ominous threats published on the app. It also wants to avoid possible problems like nudity, which Vine mostly solved last year when it banned sexually explicit content.
Furman University grads Tyler Droll and Brooks Buffington launched Yik Yak in Atlanta in 2013. The startup since then raised over $73 million to date and currently has 3.6 million users, many of whom are high school and college students across 1,500 colleges, according to a Business Insider report from March.
Of those users, 22% of them — about 792,000 people — actually publish posts to Yik Yak. Adding photos into the mix makes the experience more compelling for users and could help increase the time they spend in the app overall, which as any Internet company will you, is a highly-coveted goal.