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How to Use Yik Yak

Sharing secrets anonymously is all the rage these days. Joining the ranks of Secret and Whisper, the Yik Yak app uses your geographical location but not identity and lets you complain, praise and otherwise unburden your conscience anonymously. Voyeurs will also get a kick out of Yik Yak, which pulls all the messages, or Yaks, around you into a feed that you can scroll through. Adding a gamified angle, you can vote up or down other people's Yaks, and the app keeps a running tally known as your Yakarma. Intrigued? Here's how to get started on iOS or Android devices.

1. Download and install the app by searching Yik Yak in the Google Play or Apple App Store.

2. Allow Yik Yak to use your location.

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 3. Tap the Compose button at the top left.

4. Share your secrets. Your message should be no longer than 200 characters. Think of it as a slightly longer tweet (140 characters).

5. Hit Send at the top right when you're done. You can turn off location tagging by hitting the toggle below the message field, if you so desire. 

Your Yak is now out in the ether, waiting to collect Yakarma points. At the start, you'll have a Yakarma Score of 100, which will change depending on how well or poorly received your Yaks are. You can also upvote or downvote Yaks by hitting the arrow buttons below each entry on your home page. Note: there are no racism, chauvinism or vulgarity filters, so be prepared to be offended by those secrets others are sharing. 

Cherlynn joined the Laptopmag team in June 2013 and has since been writing about all things tech and digital with a focus on mobile and Internet software development. She also edits and reports occasionally on video. She graduated with a M.S. in Journalism (Broadcast) from Columbia University in May 2013 and has been designing personal websites since 2001.