Winter is here and since it’s such nice weather outside, I hope most of you had a wonderful time skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, sledding, building snowmen or simply having a good time with your loved ones in the snow. Irrespective of the winter activity you enjoy best, I bet none of you decided to wander off in dangerous areas such as the ice crust of a river or lake. Well, the truth is that some of us are brave enough and actually enjoy taking such risks, expecting to become the next townsfolk’s hero. I’m talking about Facebook and their newly launched application, Poke.

Poke and Snapchat

First off, it is necessary to mention that both apps practically have the same role, namely that you can send all sorts of media messages that “self-destruct” after a given time. However, before you get carried away and start thinking that you finally found the app to help you safely send work-related files and documents, you should know that the privacy levels of both app does not recommend them for this purpose. But that’s about the only similarity between the applications.

Snapchat and Poke

There are 5 main differences between the apps that we will detail in the following list:

  1. Security

In spite of the fact that both apps are lacking the pass codes, Snapchat integrates a block screenshot feature to increased privacy. Even though some might say that you could always take a picture of the message before it is destroyed, you have to admit the chances of that happening are close to zero. In conclusion, Snapchat wins this round.

  1. Media types

Few people know that the initial role of Poke was to allow users to send minor requests. This is the main reason why Poke can currently support plain text messages, while Snapchat addresses media files only. Irrespective of the reasons, one fact remains: Poke can support more media files than Snapchat.

  1. Cross-platform support

If you were to consider that Snapchat’s functionality is only optimal for Android platforms and Poke currently supports iOS exclusively, you could say that each of the apps address to a predefined audience. If I were to play the devil’s advocate for a second, I could say that Facebook did nothing more than take advantage of an open niche. I guess the outcomes will be more visible when FB will launch the Poke’s Android version.

  1. User interface
Facebook Poke

If there’s one thing critics couldn’t negatively comment regarding the Poke app, that would have to be the interface. To put it simply, while Poke’s interface is refined and well-organized, even the most ardent fan of Snapchat can’t describe his favorite app’s display as more than cheesy. The problem with latter’s interface comes from the ghost background that is not only unappealing, but is not too kind to the eyes as well.

  1. Location service

While Poke incorporates a location service to allow users to let their Facebook friends know their current location, Snapchat does not integrate this feature. Nonetheless, with the latter you can always message your friends regardless of whether they are or not on Facebook.

As you can see, the only new thing Facebook added to the picture was the nice interface and design. Granted, Snapchat is dubbed as the pioneer of such applications. However, let’s not forget that Snapchat is only available for Android – the developers are currently working on the Windows’ smartphones version– whereas Facebook’s Poke works on the iOS platform.

There’s a lesson to be learned from this

The morale of the story can be summarized to “little strokes fell the great oaks”. While most bloggers out there view Facebook’s actions as an ugly blow below the belt, the truth is that Snapchat has actually benefited a lot from this. Even though its fans didn’t give Snapchat a chance, considering that the app is competing against a very popular social network, the effects were quite the opposite.

Snapchat

In fact, since the app currently constitutes one of the most downloaded free applications on Google Play, this move has helped Snapchat gain a lot of popularity ever since its launch. Meanwhile, Poke experienced several irritating bugs and it’s currently struggling to make it to the top 100 smartphone apps. The only chance Facebook has at this point is to introduce new features and significantly improve the ones already implemented.

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