Is Facebook bringing the poke back? One-click greetings are in testing

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Could the Facebook poke see a new resurgence? A number of users have seen the age-old poke move from its spot buried in the menu to the top of friends’ pages, while others have spotted tests of similar interactions, like a virtual high-five, expanding an earlier test of a “Hello” feature. Popping up only for a few users, Facebook appears to be testing the new virtual “greetings.” Like with other tests, Facebook isn’t sharing details on features that might never become a reality or could be integrated into an upcoming update.

The Next Web recently spotted a set of new buttons called “greetings” that include high-fives, hugs, winks and of course, the traditional poke. The options are collapsed under the hello button on a friend’s profile, offering a handful of different virtual greetings. Tapping and holding allows users to choose which greeting they would like to send.

Another option Facebook appears to be testing is a more prominent location for the poke at the top of the user’s profile, TechCrunch points out. The change moves the poke option next to the message icon at the top of user profiles, rather than buried inside of the additional options accessible by clicking on the ellipsis icon.

Virtual pokes were one of Facebook’s early features and while the platform never axed the feature (unlike the fate of that real-time ticker), the feature isn’t used as often today as in Facebook’s early days. That’s probably because there was never a consensus on what the poke actually was, with even Facebook themselves saying they wanted to leave the meaning behind the tool open for interpretation. As a vague interaction that filled notifications and started poke wars, the tool largely fell by the wayside.

The new variations on the poke are a continuation of Facebook’s test of the “Hello” button. Spotted earlier this year with a test in the U.K., the “Hello” is like the poke in that it’s an easy one-click interaction that doesn’t require actually typing out something to say. The latest spotting of the feature folds more interactions like that high-five from a menu of hello options, similar to how Facebook interactions are accessible by holding the Like button. Like other tests, the feature isn’t guaranteed to be heading to the next Facebook update, but offers a glimpse at some of the ideas Facebook is considering.

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