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Atlanta-based Yik Yak lays off more than half of staff

Yik Yak laid off about 60 percent of its staff Thursday.

The social-networking app, headquartered in Buckhead, was valued at $400 million in 2015.

About 20 out of 50 employees remain, said Hilary McQuaide, spokesperson for the company. There are still job openings posted on its website.

In a prepared statement, CEO Tyler Droll said, "We recently made some strategic changes at Yik Yak in line with our key areas of focus for the company. Unfortunately, as part of that we had to make the difficult decision to lay off a portion of the team. We are incredibly appreciative of their contributions toward making Yik Yak the special place for college students around the world that it is today."

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"I didn't know that it was going to come to this," said Adelaide Taylor, who worked on the product team and had been with the company since early 2015. "I think some people had no idea."

Yik Yak users took to the app to express their thoughts about Thursday's layoffs.

Taylor felt like she was losing a sense of community. "We were all more than just co-workers," she said. 

"I don't know what the future of Yik Yak is, but I can't see that it continues," she said.

The once-anonymous social networking app, which is aimed at college students, allows users to post updates based on location. 

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Earlier this year, the app went through significant changes after seeing declines in usage, according to multiple media reports. Users must now have a username to post on the app, eliminating the "anonymous" feature.

Both of the company's founders, Brooks Buffington and Droll, went to high school in metro Atlanta.

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