As far as apps go, Yik Yak once ruled college campuses. Anonymous accounts posting short texts — perfect for our generation’s love of snippets of content. Recently, a new app has entered the scene: Fizz. While it’s basically Yik Yak with some new bells and whistles, it has quickly dwarfed the latter. With a strict college-student-only user base, if you want to be on the ground floor of your campus’ meme scene, this is the place to be.
Whenever a major event happens, be it a scandal of celebrity or political nature, our generation has turned from checking the news to checking social media. Who didn’t go check out what everyone was saying on Twitter after the infamous slapping of Chris Rock at The Oscars or the death of Queen Elizabeth II?
College campuses are full of action. Whether it’s an event, mishap or the latest gossip, there’s always something to talk about. Thanks to Fizz, we get the campus-focused coverage from students themselves.
On Fizz, your coverage of events can be limited to a single area — specifically, your college campus.
“I love how you can see fizzes from your school specially, instead of just the general area,” sophomore Sammy Sucholeiki said.
When you make an account, you use your school email. If you’re concerned that your school email will trace back to you, don’t be. It’s just to verify that you’re a college student and to connect you to other users from your university. Once an account is made, you can view and post in your specific college’s own designated Fizz timeline.
Structured like the cooler, older cousin of its predecessor, Fizz does what Yik Yak does and more. It has a similar post format that consists of small blocks of text that resemble a Tweet. What sets the app apart is that Fizz allows users to add pictures, links and even polls to their posts. You can comment on and upvote or downvote posts like Yik Yak, but Fizz also allows you to repost or “refizz” someone else’s post.
Sophomore Claire Bitner commented on the app’s structure and layout.
“It’s cool to see some of the top upvoted posts from the past day, week or all time,” Bitner said.
Fizz furthers its organization by giving users the option to give their post a category that it belongs to — some examples being Confession, Event, For Sale and Crush. You can browse through these categories just to see what secondhand clothes you can buy or how down-bad some students are.
It’s basically a lawless land where anyone can post their unfiltered thoughts anonymously. Unsurprisingly, many students find it very amusing.
“For the most part it’s hilarious,” Sucholeiki said. “But sometimes content can be odd.”
He’s not wrong. While it does have its funny moments, any platform built on a format where users can stay anonymous or adopt some persona can go awry. You can put anything out there, and no one can trace it back to you.
This leads to some people being unabashedly funny, users with pseudonyms @sanestbuisnessmajor or @spice — yes, named after singer Ice Spice — have made big names for themselves on the app for their good sense of humor.
Sophomore Owen DeRuyter is in support of the anonymous format.
“Anonymity is what makes the app so entertaining,” said DeRuyter. “Without the anonymous posting, people would probably be more reserved with what they say.”
While users are poking fun at each other’s expense all the time, Fizz does have some community guidelines and moderators in place to ensure that there isn’t any blatant hate speech on the app.
Whether the subject is freshmen, certain majors or whatever frat is catching flack that week, people can say what they want without feeling like they’re getting judged. Seeing it posted anonymously, even from someone with a pseudonym, softens the blow.
After all, how much can they mean it if they are only willing to say it behind their digital anonymity?
At the end of the day, it is just an app. So if you do find yourself getting sucked in or offended by the dumb memes, please touch grass once in a while.
Q&A With A User
Distraction interviewed one of Fizz’s more notable users who goes by their pseudonym @challengedblond.
Q: Did you purposely try and gain fame, or was it completely by accident?
A: In all honesty, I just wanted to put out posts that people would laugh at. My content did very well and I was on the leaderboard in about a week. I settled on my username @challengedblond, and it became my character on here. And now people actually want to know the face behind the name, which is surprising.
Q: Do you like the attention? And does its anonymity make it better?
A: I like the attention, and I love that it’s anonymous. I have zero filter, and on Fizz I’m able to voice every thought I have with no fear of feeling judged or embarrassed.
Q: Have you realized there is like a specific kind of content that does better on Fizz? Do you have a niche of content you’re known for?
A: Yes, I originally got on the leaderboard for making content related to the housing crisis. The more relatable the better. As @challengedblond, I revolve most of my content around being a typical girl at UM, going to frat parties and being obsessed with frat guys.
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This article was published in Distraction’s Summer 2023 print issue.
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