The app let users send messages, photos and videos to friends that would last up to 10 seconds before disappearing forever. And yes, Poke was a total ripoff of Snapchat.
If it was up to Mark Zuckerberg, though, Snapchat would already be in Facebook’s portfolio. Word got out last November that the Harvard dropout offered Snapchat cofounder Evan Spiegel $3 billion for the app.
Snapchat launched in late 2011, gaining popularity to the point where it now sends around 700 million photos and videos every day. The startup also recently added text messaging and video chatting to put the ‘chat’ back in its name.
Facebook revealed the Poke app in 2012. The company has never revealed Poke’s usage stats. The only time Poke ever really caused a splash was when a photo was leaked from a Zuckerberg holiday celebration that year, which led to Randi Zuckerberg, Mark’s sister, getting pretty pissed at Callie Schweitzer, then director of marketing and projects at Vox Media (now Director of Digital Innovation at TIME), who shared the photo on Twitter. Sidenote: Callie has a pretty consistently awesome Twitter feed. If you don’t already follow her, do so now.
As for Facebook’s original “poke” function, that’s alive and well … for the most part. Though it’s been eliminated from the homepage and timeline, you can still give you friends an essentially pointless “poke.” The feature, which has been a part of Facebook since 2004, is still reachable here.
Let the poke wars rage on, my friends. But after you pay your respects to the end of Facebook Poke.