poke Stories June 16, 2014

Update: Like clockwork, it’s out.

Facebook plans to launch its long-awaited Snapchat competitor called Slingshot tomorrow, according to a source. The application briefly became available in some international App Stores last week, and then it (appropriately) swiftly disappeared. The new standalone iPhone application allows users to send a photo or video with text or drawings to another person, but the recipient cannot view it unless they acknowledge that they want to view the message…

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poke Stories May 18, 2014

If at first you don’t succeed…

Facebook may have recently pulled its Snapchat-like Poke app from the iOS App Store, but the social network is gearing up to take another swipe at the messaging giant later this month, according to a new claim by the Financial Times. Facebook’s new app, currently dubbed “Slingshot” interally, will enable users to send short video messages to one another.

In 2012, Facebook launched its own Snapchat rip-off called Poke, which borrowed its name from an entirely separate feature that had been available on Facebook’s website for years. When Poke failed to attract a significant number of users, Facebook forgot about it and let it sit idle for nearly three years before removing it from the App Store.

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poke Stories May 9, 2014

Facebook Poke and Camera pulled from the App Store

Even though Facebook seemingly wants to break as many of its functions out into separate apps as possible—see Messenger and Pages Manager, for example—it appears that not every function is worthy its own App Store listing. Earlier today the social network pulled two of its iOS apps from sale: Poke (a Snapchat-like photo messenger) and Camera (which is exactly what it sounds like).

Both apps launched in 2012 and didn’t see many big improvements after that. Camera got a few small updates, though they didn’t seem to be much of a priority for the company. At one point a bug left the app’s internal employee settings exposed to all users for several months before being fixed.

Poke, on the other hand, was virtually ignored by Facebook from the day it went live until it was removed from the store. Most of the Camera app’s features were eventually rolled back into the main Facebook app, but Poke was not so fortunate.

Facebook hasn’t provided any reason for pulling either app, but it’s safe to assume that neither was being used that much anymore. The company now seems more focused on its messaging platform, with the recent acquisition of WhatsApp for $19 billion and the announcement that soon messaging would be removed from the main Facebook client in favor of the free Messenger app.

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