Facebook on Friday confirmed its Poke and Camera apps are no more. Not that they were much of anything to begin with; experimental more like. Something Facebook did on a whim. It’s pretty impressive the two apps lasted this long. But as the social network moves off in a more sophisticated direction, Facebook had to first cut ties with the past. Nobody in Zuckerberg’s camp commented on why the apps were pulled, but it’s not hard to guess.
Poke was essentially Facebook’s answer to Snapchat, giving users a tool within the company’s ecosystem to share temporary photos. It wasn’t a bad app. But being that it was a clone, and everyone was already on Snapchat, it didn’t have much of an audience. Why use yet another service from Facebook, which knows pretty much every piece of important information, when you didn’t have to? It’s not like Facebook put much importance on Poke anyway. The app was allegedly built in twelve days just for fun.
Camera, meanwhile, which allowed mobile users to upload multiple photos at once, eventually got absorbed into Facebook’s native iPhone and Android apps, making a standalone app moot. It would be like Instagram offering a standalone app for uploading video. Pointless. Now, after months of listless wandering, both apps have been euthanized and swept under the rug. If Facebook doesn’t say anything it’s as if they never existed.
Following the release of Paper, Facebook showed that it has a much more focused approach to mobile. There was a point when the social network just kept churning out apps for the fun of it. But that chapter is coming to a close, not that many people will notice. What will come next? Something to do with WhatsApp or Instagram, I’m sure.