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The social media app voted ‘Most Likely to Go Extinct’

In the fourth installment of CNBC's social media on campus series, two students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign discuss which social media platforms they use socially and academically as well as which one they think will go the way of the dinosaurs.

When social media first gained popularity, it was branded as a tool for bringing people together—and, as college students, it permeates every aspect of our lives. Socially and academically, we are always tied to the grid in one way or another.

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We use social media to make plans with friends to hang out, or to catch up after not having seen them for a few weeks. We use social media to ask classmates about our homework and to complain about how our professor never posts the assigned readings on time.

Sometimes we use it to talk to people who we may not have met yet. Perhaps they're the president of that new club we joined and we need to ask them a couple of questions.

Even when writing this article, we have received a notification that someone posted in a Facebook group for one of our classes talking about who would post the group assignment to the class website.

Social media is the way our generation keeps up with the latest news, from Kim and Kanye to what happened at the last presidential debate.

It's pretty hard to select a clear-cut favorite among students, but if we had to take a guess it would be Instagram.

In the busy life of the college student, people love the simplicity of Instagram. It doesn't have 1,000 word posts or long videos about politics, but features pictures or 15-second videos with a short and clever caption.

Other anonymous applications such as Yik Yak and Whatsgoodly have also gained a lot of traction on our university's campus. With these platforms, people have the opportunity to post anonymous polls. The questions vary in importance, ranging from a social issue such as "what do you think about the actions of the students at Missouri?" to the often repeated "Who's going out tonight?"

Lilly Mashayek and Thomas Polcyn
Source: Lilly Mashayek; Thomas Polcyn
Lilly Mashayek and Thomas Polcyn

Due to the popularity of social media like Instagram or Twitter, some others have seen a massive drop in popularity. The most obvious casualty to social media is MySpace. The once dominant website has all but completely halted, seeing a huge decrease in its users. It is hard to forecast, but it is certainly possible that other platforms might soon suffer the same fate as MySpace.

We wager that Yik Yak will go extinct soon. It's had a good run— especially on college campuses—but newer apps like Whatsgoodly have started to dominate the anonymous social media platforms as of late.

Conversely, we believe apps such as Instagram and Twitter will continue their domination of the social media world. Facebook is a distant third but in the speed of the world today people are much more attracted to the concise options like Instagram and Twitter.




Commentary by Lilly Mashayek and Thomas Polcyn. Lilly is a junior at the University of Illinois majoring in Communication with a minor in French. She likes to travel and go to concerts in her free time, as well as finding any excuse to travel to California as often as possible. Thomas is a freshman journalism student from the Chicago area who hopes to specialize in sports and cover the Hockey or Baseball. They are both writers for the independent student newspaper The Daily Illini. Follow them @LMashayek and @TPolc.

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