Facebook wants to know if you're poking, and if so, exactly how you feel about poking. Poking, of course, is my childish way of talking about Facebook's new standalone Poke app, which launched a few weeks ago.
The social network is currently running ads for research participants on users' homepages that say, "Facebook is seeking paid participants for phone research." Facebook is using internet recruiting tool Ethn.io to probe for subjects.
Once a user clicks on the research ad, they are taken to a short questionnaire that asks whether or not they're using the Poke app.
"We're conducting phone interviews about the poke app and would like to talk with you if you use the app. This is not spam...
If you'd be willing to talk with us over Skype/GoTomeeting for 45 min and have a webcam, answer a few questions and we'll contact you if you are selected. Only those who we contact will receive the incentive," it reads.
Inside Facebook reports that the "selected users," will be eligible to receive a $75 Amazon gift card once they complete the Skype/GoToMeeting face-to-face interview. Facebook is apparently also using SurveyMonkey to find interviewees to bring to their headquarters in Menlo Park.
Speaking of Menlo Park, Facebook has just altered the sign out front of the HQ to celebrate the launch of the Poke app. What used to be a giant image of the famous "like" graphic has been replaced by the logo for the Poke app - a blue, pointing index finger.
It's not surprising that Facebook would want some early feedback on its brand new messaging app. Poke allows users to send ephemeral messages to their friends, clearly launching as a competitor to Snapchat. Although some have dubbed both apps "sexting" apps because the messages disappear after a designated period of time, Facebook markets Poke as a way to let your friends in on what's happening in your life, at the exact moment that it happens. We think that it's premature to write off Poke as "that sexting app," as the success of Snapchat has shown that temporary messaging is a type of messaging that interests people.
With feedback from real users (and from those who haven't yet used the app), Facebook can develop better strategies to both get more people using the app as well as to get current users more involved.