Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo

 

Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

{ action.text }

Facebook, which introduced the innuendo-inspiring feature way back in 2004, is now giving its “poke” function its own app.

Available today as an iPhone app through Apple’s iTunes Store, Poke allows you to poke a Facebook friend or just share a message, video, or photo with them. You can determine how long you want them to be able to see that message before it expires (between 1 and 10 seconds; I recommend 1 second if you’re hoping to thwart them from taking a screen shot to preserve it forever). You can also view pokes from your friends through the app.

The app is very similar to recently popular app Snapchat. Both Poke and Snapchat will also alert you if the person you send your image to takes a screenshot, although they can’t warn that someone snapped a photo of their phone’s screen with another device.

Understanding that this kind of app may be ripe for naughty behavior (c’mon, obviously), Facebook’s announcement for Poke notes, “if you ever see something you’re uncomfortable with, you can click the gear menu and report it.” It’s unclear whether reporting a message intended to expire preserves it for someone inside Facebook to review.

0 comments about this story. Start the discussion »

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives

Close

Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me