A screengrab of posts on the anonymous app “Yik Yak,” which shows messages from users in a nearby geographic area. The Atlanta-based company behind the app is trying to expand its appeal beyond college campuses. Credit: Yik Yak, Inc.

Last year, I wrote about a few apps such as “Secret” and “Whisper” that offer anonymity to its users and trade on gossipy, often lurid messages. Well, the trend hasn’t abated: the app “Yik Yak,” created by an Atlanta company, has raised a reported $73.5 million in funding, and is the subject of a South by Southwest Interactive featured presentation on March 16.

But what is “Yik Yak” exactly? The social network shows you anonymous messages posted by users that can be up-voted or down-voted, making popular posts rise to the top. A high priority is placed on the users location to display those messages, but users can also peek at messages in other zip codes. The app started out focused on students; the company says it’s used at more than 200 colleges and universities. But the company is trying to raise its profile beyond that community.

Warning: if you do decide to check out the app (available at yikyakapp.com), be warned that the language can be coarse, the subject matter largely sexual and, though the company says it’s cracking down on bullying messages, there are still plenty of aggressive posts and the app has been banned at some schools.

In this space every week, we’ll define a tech term, offer a timely tip or answer questions about technology from readers. Email ogallaga@statesman.com.