What Is a Facebook Poke If you’re a veteran Facebook user, you might remember a troubled time some years ago, when the Poke Wars threatened to take over the social network. Facebook used to offer a Poke button – a pointing finger next to the user’s name – through which you could… ‘poke’ someone. That’s all though – there was no message, no pictures, nothing, just a virtual, context less jab. The next thing you know, you’ve got a notification saying you got a Poke, and you could poke back directly from notifications. A cycle of back and forth ‘poking’ without purpose followed.
Of course people started to interpret poking as a lazy form of flirting. Go to Google, and search for “Facebook Poke”, and the related questions include, “what does it mean?”, and “is a Facebook poke a flirt?” But when we brought up the topic of Facebook Pokes, most people asked us – “is this still a thing?”
Yes, it turns out. Facebook Pokes still exist, although they’re no longer right on top of the page. Instead, the Poke has been put behind a menu, so you have to click/ tap a few times (on both mobile and desktop) before you can Poke.
With this change, the Poke seems to have been largely forgotten by most of the Facebook users that we asked.
“I have not been poked on Facebook recently, [and] I find Facebook pokes quite redundant and outdated,” says Priya Saini, a Bengaluru-based ex-Googler. “From disgust, boredom to gluttony, one can explicitly express all of this using emojis, stickers, and the feelings/ activities feature on Facebook, so the fact that poke is still around is surprising.”
What’s more, according to Saini, getting a Poke wasn’t always a welcome experience.
“Even when poking on Facebook was popular, it was a very vague action to me and the fact that one could poke a non connection made it creepier,” she said.
What are you saying exactly? “Creepy” is a term a few others also used when talking about Pokes.
“It depended on who did the poking, right, but sure, it could get creepy,” said Meena Das, a policy analyst based in New Delhi. “My actual friends and I would keep poking each other like idiots and that part of it was fun. But you add people you don’t know well on Facebook, and then when they poke you – what are they saying exactly?”