Laughing and Yelling Through Yaks: A Content Analysis of Yik Yak, Exploring Humor Topics, Types, Styles and User Motives in the Anonymous Social Media Environment


  • Brandon Chicotsky The University of Alabama
  • Fei Qiao Guangdong University of Foreign Studies


Yik Yak, mobile technology, humor, anonymity, social media


This study examines 2,000 posts divided by a default thread and hot thread on Yik Yak, an anonymous mobile platform. Results reveal that 1) silliness is the most frequent humor type in both threads; 2) humorous posts with negative styles are adopted more significantly than positive styles in the hot thread; 3) “social media, media and television” is the most frequent humor topic; and 4) user motives are unrelated to humorous posts.

Author Biographies

Brandon Chicotsky, The University of Alabama

Brandon Chicotsky is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Advertising and Public Relations at the University of Alabama.

@chicotsky (Twitter);;

Fei Qiao, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies

Fei Qiao (PhD, University of Alabama, 2016) is an assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Communication at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, China.

@fei_qiao (Twitter)


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