Facebook Redefines the “Poke” with New “Self-Destructing” Messaging and Media App
It wasn’t the smoothest week for Facebook and its properties (Instagram), but that hasn’t stopped the social networking company from pumping out yet another iOS app that aims to draw a burgeoning new social function under its wing… By now you’ve probably heard of Snapchat, the perfect app for sexting and other sorts of messages that require self-destruction. Rather than buying Snapchat (maybe they tried), Facebook aims to get in early on this trend through the release of an app called Poke.
Though it’s easily confusing, this Facebook “poke” doesn’t really have anything to do with the poking that used to happen years ago on Facebook. That sort of simple poke is actually an option in the new app, but it’s really more about self-destructing text, picture, and video messages, much in the way of Snapchat… These messages can be sent to the intended recipient, where they will be available for viewing for just a few seconds (1-10). After the time is up, they vanish and cannot be recovered (if a screenshot takes place, the sender gets notified). It is worth noting that both sender and the receiver need to have the Poke app installed in order for the messages to be read.
Add this one to Camera and Instagram, and all of the sudden Facebook has quite a stable of “photography” apps. We’d write this one off as just a Snapchat clone that won’t get much traction, except that Facebook’s timing might turn out to be ideal… Snapchat isn’t quite a household name yet, so a Facebook entry into the short-lived messaging sphere might still feel like a novelty to some. There’s another plus, too, and that’s because it feels more likely that your friends will add to their Facebook folder before they’ll pick up an app they haven’t heard of before, and that could lead to a quickly growing list of Poke-ready contacts. We should find out quick whether Snapchat has built up much user loyalty, or if Facebook is going to put an early end to their run…