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Is Facebook’s New “Poke” App Designed to Promote Sexting?

Zuck and the crew at Facebook released a new companion app Friday for the social network called “Poke”. The app is designed to enable mobile users the ability to use the semi-useless poke Facebook feature, but it also allows users to do a couple other interesting things.

Beside “poking”, the standalone app allows users to send messages, photos, and videos to Facebook friends in “a lightweight way” (as Facebook describes it). Essentially, what this means is that these messages can only be seen by the recipient for a matter of a few seconds before it deletes itself.

Those sending messages can set the message to expire after 1, 3, 5, or 10 seconds; at which point the message disappears and cannot be seen again. The app is also supposed to alert the sender of the message if a screen shot is taken according to the description in the iTunes App Store.

Although Facebook’s terms of use policies prohibit users from sending photos or videos “of a sexual nature’, it’s hard to imagine many other reasons to want a photo, message, or video to expire shortly after being seen.

While this is not the first app to offer this sort of feature to smartphones, the fact that it comes from a more reputable company like Facebook raises a few eyebrows and begs the question “Why?”

For those who see this as a foolproof way to securely get a little risqué with messages to Facebook friends, I have bad news. Many smartphones offer the ability to take screenshots of anything on the screen – iPhones have almost always had this ability by pressing the home button and power button at the same time, and more recent Android devices are able to do this with a software button on-screen.

The app is free now on the iTunes App Store, and simply requires a sign-in with your Facebook credentials in order to use it.




In any case, what do you think of the app? Can you think of uses other than “sexting”? Would you use this app yourself? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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