We can say goodbye to two companion mobile apps from Facebook. Facebook Poke and Facebook Camera have been removed from the iOS App Store on Friday without an explanation why. The Poke app, which was introduced in December 2012 as a competitor to SnapChat, did much of the same as SnapChat, allowing users to send photos that disappear after a short period of time. The Camera app also contained many of the same features that are found in Instagram, which was bought by Facebook prior to camera’s release. Facebook has remained extremely quiet about the both apps’ removal.
Facebook tried to convince users that Poke wasn’t a simple copy of the widely popular Snapchat. They promoted the app as an extension of Facebook’s original Poke feature on their website, which has been around since Facebook was founded in 2004. However, users didn’t see any correlation with the original feature that acted as a way for friends to ping each other. So, failure of the Poke app is likely tied to its likelier image as a SnapChat clone. Although Poke included more features than SnapChat, it wasn’t enough to compete with the well-established social app. The app was only in the “Top 25” in the App Store for a short period after its release and hasn’t reached that height since then.
Snapchat was released in late 2011, establishing itself before Poke came along. Snapchat users now send over 700 million photos and videos daily.
Similar to Snapchat, Poke allowed users to send and receive messages, pokes, photos, and 10-second videos that would self-destruct in 1 to 10 seconds, deleting the content forever.
The Camera app actually garnered a lot more popularity, thanks to its features, such as filters and multiple image upload. However, Camera could also be considered a bit too similar to Instagram, which was acquired by Facebook only a few months before Camera’s release. That purchase was made in 2012 with a price tag of $1 billion.
Many of the features of Camera have been integrated into Facebook mobile, such as image filters, deeming the app primarily obsolete. Now, the main Facebook app includes a photo interface with its own set of features.
However, Camera still has an operational page on Facebook (for now), which still directs users to the App Store. On the other hand, the Poke page has already been taken down.
Despite no official announcement from Facebook, the social company did confirm that both apps have been removed from the App Store.