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The Yap app is giving groups an online space where they can chat without having to worry about their data being collected or messages logged. What’s said online often stays there forever, but with privacy concerns growing, Yap presents an alternative platform for interactions that mirror IRL conversations. We explore the insights behind this and why people are seeking private moments online.

Created by digital product studio Postlight, Yap allows groups of up to six to have conversations in an online ‘room’. Each user’s messages get erased once they’ve posted another, meaning the app doesn’t keep a conversation log or record. The room’s owner can share a link to set the conversation topic, and while Yap rooms can be made public, other users can only observe but not contribute.

“Yap was a stray idea that I had one day for all the reasons you’d expect,” says Paul Ford, co-founder and CEO of Postlight. “That was my use case but I was definitely thinking that it’d be nice to just not have a lot of nonsense following you around in your logs.”

Yap’s transient chat rooms keep people in the moment
Daria Shevtsova (2019) ©

From private conversations getting leaked to personal identity theft, people are worried about their online security - in fact, 80% of social media users are concerned about businesses accessing the data they share on social media platforms. Yap offers more security by facilitating history-less conversations online. What’s more, by replicating the transience and in-the-moment aspect of offline interactions, Yap calls for people to be more present, meeting demands for online conversations that go beyond surface-level chatter. In a similar vein, Let’s Gaze gives long-distance couples a way to enjoy a film together in real-time no matter where they are around the world.

As people continue to reject the publicity of mainstream social media in favour of more intimate digital spaces, brands will need to tread carefully by catering to these communities' unique needs without being perceived as intrusive.

Luana Sambell is a Behavioural Analyst at Canvas8. She holds a degree in Commerce and a Masters in Consumer Behaviour. She’s passionate about cultural trends and the latest happenings in retail. Outside of work, you can find her exploring different cultures through food or catching live music whenever possible.

08 Jan 20
2 min read

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