Facebook just launched an independent app called Poke. It takes the name of the Poke feature that helped make Facebook popular but as an App, Poke does more than just notify your friend that you still exist.
The Poke app allows users to send photos and videos, but why would Facebook make an independent app like this when these features are already available on the main Facebook app or in the Messenger app? The feature that distinguishes Poke is the quick expiration of the photos or videos sent through the app. When you send photos or videos, you set the availability of these media to the recipient, namely 1, 3, 5 or 10 seconds. When time runs out, the media disappears and can no longer be seen by the recipient. This feature is not unique to the Poke app. Another app called Snapchat does this same thing so you may call Poke a ripoff.
Facebook has one thing going for it and it’s the huge user base where the potential users of the Poke app will come from. Snapchat may have been ahead but the popularity of Facebook may just help Poke crush the competition. With Poke, however, users use their Facebook profile as the Poke profile so there’s nothing that could be done if you want to use the app anonymously. On Snapchat, you create a different profile so there is definitely an option to be anonymous.
Snapchat is quite popular, which makes us think there are users who would actually want their photos or videos disappear after a very short time. The one advantage of this is that the photos or videos would not use up the memory on the recipient’s device.
Poke is currently available on the iPhone but it expected to hit Android devices soon.