Facebook releases Poke, its Snapchat clone

poke for facebookEarlier this week, we heard that Facebook was set to introduce its very own Snapchat, the app that allows you to share temporary photos. Now, come week’s end, the social network has announced a clone of the controversial feature with a new product called Poke for iOS.

You probablying remember poking as perhaps the most annoying thing that Facebook allowed you to do – or allowed to be done to you. Now, however, Facebook is resurrecting it and spinning it into a new mechanism that doesn’t just subtly ping you, but sends over a private piece of content with an expiration date.

“With the Poke app, you can poke or send a message, photo, or video to Facebook friends to share what you’re up to in a lightweight way,” says Facebook. “You can poke an individual friend or several at once. Each message expires after a specific time you’ve set, either 1, 3, 5, or 10 seconds. When time runs out, the message disappears from the app.”

Snapchat has only just entered our consciousness and already Facebook is capitalizing on the self-destruct messaging trend. Snapchat has risen to the top 10 free apps in the App Store and captured young users’ interest – in some cases, unfortunately so, as we all by now know there are always ways to save those supposedly secure images. (Hint: screen capture is faster than you think).

poke for facebookFacebook makes no attempt to shield this as anything other than a Snapchat clone. You can manipulate photos before sending them, there’s an alert system so you know if someone took a screenshot, and you get the same timing options. Of course, Poke allows you to send more types of media, and there is a group messaging capability. This could be a death sentence for Snapchat, which, despite its popularity and early rise to the top of the App Store, can’t compete with Facebook’s social graph and the inarguable ease of a client that can offer access to (for many of us) nearly all of our connections.

It will be interesting to see if Facebook ends up folding Poke into its proprietary app. Camera and Messenger started out as standalone apps that worked with, but weren’t embedded in, the original app. These two still exist on their own, but now also within the main Facebook mobile app. It’s been Facebook’s mobile strategy thus far, to build out mobile products and eventually weave their features into Facebook proper. Poke will probably receive the same treatment. 

News

AT&T accused of selling customers’ location data to bounty hunters and stalkers

AT&T was hit with a lawsuit Tuesday accusing it of selling customers’ real-time location data to third parties like credit agencies and bail guarantors, along with bounty hunters and stalkers, without having customer consent. 
Mobile

St. Paul, Minnesota, is the latest U.S. city to access Verizon's 5G network

Verizon is in the midst of a massive 5G rollout. Its mobile 5G network is now available in select areas of several cities such as Chicago and Denver. Here's everything you need to know about Verizon's 5G network.
Mobile

Renders suggest the Huawei Mate 30 Pro may have a special cinematic camera lens

The Huawei Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro may join the Mate X folding phone as the company's star products for late 2019. This is what we know about the Huawei Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro so far.
News

Worried about how FaceApp is using your photos? Here’s how to delete your data

Are you concerned about your privacy with FaceApp? If so, you might want to delete your data from the app. The app has come under fire for its terms of service and privacy policies that it can use your face photos in any way it wants to. 
Mobile

A.I. photo filters use neural networks to make photos look like Picassos

Artificial Intelligence apps put a novel spin on social network-style photo filters. Instead of just overlaying an effect, these photo filters use machine learning and neural networks to transform an image into a predetermined style.
Mobile

Samsung’s latest RAM chips can move data superfast on your next-gen smartphone

Samsung just announced its fastest RAM chips yet, boasting 44 GB/s transfer speeds with LPDDR5 technology on a 10-nm process. These 12-gigabyte monsters are meant to take 5G and A.I. to the next level on your next-gen smartphone.
Deals

Amazon Prime Day deals are ending, but you can still get great bargains

Prime Day 2019 has come to an end for Amazon, but that doesn't mean the Prime Day deals are over. With deals from Walmart, Best Buy, and Amazon still going on, this massive shopping event is continuing on through the week.
Mobile

Big, beautiful, and breakable: Check out the best Galaxy S8 Plus cases

There’s no denying Samsung’s ability to turn out an attractive smartphone, but glass curves are expensive to fix and metal chips easily. We've rounded up the best Galaxy S8 Plus cases on the market.
Wearables

FCC filing reveals impressive specs for luxury Movado Connect 2.0 smartwatch

It's been a while since we saw a smartwatch from luxury watchmaker Movado, but that drought may be over soon. FCC filings for the Movado Connect 2.0 have surfaced, and they paint a picture of a high-spec smartwatch.
Mobile

T-Mobile wants to give you a free smartphone when you add a line

Did someone say free smartphones? T-Mobile is offering free smartphones from a select range of affordable phones when a new line is opened on its $40 per month per line Magenta tier and above.
Mobile

Get your game on with the best controllers for Android smartphones

If you're looking to do some serious gaming on an Android device, you're going to need a gamepad. Here are the best controllers for Android games on smartphones and tablets, with rechargeable and wireless options.
Mobile

The best mobile collage apps, for when a single image or video just won't cut it

Today's collage apps combine images and videos into a crafted presentation complete with fonts, stickers, memes, and other elements that tells a story, instead of relying on a single iconic representation of a place or event.
Photography

From DIY to AAA, here's how to take a passport photo in 6 different ways

If you're applying for a passport or renewing one, you need to submit a photo in your official application. There are strict guidelines, but fortunately, it's something you can do at home. Here's how to take a passport photo.
Mobile

Here’s every Alexa Built-in phone that can access Amazon’s assistant on the move

If you've got your Amazon Echo, Echo Show, and Fire TV set up, you might want a phone that's just as tied into your Amazon-based A.I. network. Here's every Alexa Built-in smartphone you can buy from Amazon right now.