Out with the “like,” in with the “poke?”
Facebook is promoting their brand new standalone app for ephemeral communications, Poke, by revamping their sign the sits in front of their Menlo Park headquarters.
Facebook launched Poke last month, a rebranding of their longstanding but forgotten “poke” function. The Poke app allows users to send short-lived photo and video messages to friends – lasting either 1, 3, 5, or 10 seconds. Once the time is up, the messages vanish. Poke users are notified if recipients attempt to save a piece of the message with a screenshot. At launch, it was seen as a clear response to the popular Snapchat app, which allows users pretty much the same functionality.
“To celebrate the launch of our new Poke app, designers Sharon Hwang, Tim Belonax, Ben Barry and Mike Matas—together with the team at New Bohemia Signs—had a little fun changing the sign in front of our Menlo Park HQ,” says Facebook.
Snapchat, and subsequently Poke, are seen by some as a “sexting” apps, since they allow for discreet communications that hold no staying power. If you want to send your boyfriend a boob pic, Poke is a way to ensure that the image won’t wind up on reddit after you break up.
Of course, Facebook isn’t marketing Poke like this. They say that it’s simply a fun and easy way to let your friends in on what you’re doing, at that exact moment in time – to share brief, impermanent communications from everyday life. Poke is in the early stages of its life, so we don’t really have any hard figures on its adoption. The NY Times’ Bits blog ran a piece calling it a “head-scratcher,” and the author claimed the in his unscientific determination, only 31 of his 500+ friends were currently using the app.
Out of my 600+ friends, only one is currently using Poke.
Nevertheless, Facebook is celebrating its launch. Do you think Poke will find a place among messengers?