“Poke” was an original feature on Facebook (NASDAQ:FB). It was essentially undefined, but a sexual connotation was certainly at work. Hey, the social network got its start on college campuses, right?
But over the past couple weeks, Facebook has transformed the Poke concept — that is, turning it into a mobile app. It was an obvious attempt to kill the momentum of Snapchat, which allows users to send messages that quickly disappear. Of course, the app has became popular for sexting.
Mark Zuckerberg claimed that it took his super-smart engineers only 12 days to develop Poke. And when it launched on Dec. 21, there was immediate uptake, with the app hitting No. 1 on Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) App Store within 24 hours.
Of course, it helped that Facebook heavily promoted Poke on the service’s News Feeds. However, it proved to have just a temporary impact. As of now, Poke is ranked No. 51. As for Snapchat, it is No. 4.
Something else: Poke has an overall ranking of 3 stars — and many are either 1 or 5 stars. All in all, many loyal Snapchat users are trashing the new app!
Here’s just one of the reviews: “Zuckerberg the billionaire, if not rich enough already is trying to steal small start-ups ideas.”
Tom Taulli runs the InvestorPlace blog IPO Playbook, a site dedicated to the hottest news and rumors about initial public offerings. He is also the author of “How to Create the Next Facebook” and “High-Profit IPO Strategies: Finding Breakout IPOs for Investors and Traders.” Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.