Facebook has officially killed off two of its apps, but you’d never even know unless you somehow went to download them from Apple’s App Store. The company is otherwise mum about the death sentence it recently bestowed upon Facebook Poke and Facebook Camera — both apps that were basically competitors-slash-clones of far more successful apps, Snapchat and Instagram.
Although both apps are officially gone from Apple’s App Store, a Facebook-created landing page for Facebook Camera still exists (for now). The app, heavily themed around Instagram, allowed users to rapidly snap and upload pictures to Facebook, in addition to viewing photos that their other friends created in one easy-to-manipulate location.
The app’s core functionality has basically been replicated within Facebook’s normal iOS app, including the ability to apply filters to photos after you’ve taken them (but before you’ve sent them along to Facebook as part of a post comment or general status update). Therefore, it makes a bit of sense for Facebook to do some spring cleaning in that regard.
And, of course, there’s the small bit about Facebook purchasing Instagram outright for $1 billion in early 2012 — which didn’t stop Camera’s launch, we note, given that it arrived just shortly after said acquisition went down.
As for Facebook Poke, the app launched after Snapchat had already begun to gain some pretty significant traction among the “send messages that are quickly deleted upon receipt” crowd. Facebook never actually revealed how many people were using the app but, as Mashable notes, it dropped out of the top 25 for iOS app downloads “very shortly after its launch.” Snapchat, on the other hand, now says that more than 700 million bits of content are sent using the service each day.
Game, set, match, especially since Poke seemed to run contrary to Facebook’s core ideals of openness and sharing in the social world.
Facebook has taken down the accompanying page on its website describing Facebook Poke — “a simple and fun way to say hello to your friends,” read Facebook’s now-deleted description.
If the move leaves you without any means to capitalize on Facebook’s longtime (and now somewhat-hidden) digital jabbing technique, you can still go to facebook.com/pokes to relive Facebook’s old days (and see a list of who has poked you / who Facebook thinks you should poke). It’s not quite as thrilling as a self-deleting message, but it’s still fun.