Dec. 21, 2012 at 3:54 PM ET
We've heard rumors that Facebook's working on an app which will allow you to send messages that'll self-destruct after being viewed — and on Friday the social network confirmed the whispers. The app's called Poke and it is now available to iOS users.
It's a bit odd that Facebook decided to name the new app after an annoying feature that's been around since 2004, but we won't fret about that oddity too long.
Based on the explanation given in a post in Facebook's Newsroom, Poke is somewhat similar to Snapchat. Both apps allow you to send messages, photos or videos which will expire a specific amount of time after being viewed. (Though with Poke you've got the added ability to send ... a poke.)
When you communicate with a friend via Poke, you're able to set a message to expire in 1, 3, 5 or 10 seconds. As soon as time runs out, the message will disappear. In order to view a message, you find it in the app and "press and hold the message until it expires."
Unlike Snapchat, Poke does not appear to notify users if a message recipient takes a screenshot of the correspondence before it expires. In a way, this is good, because it doesn't give a false sense of security. On the other hand, some users might forget that someone can easily turn their temporary messages into something that'll haunt them permanently.
Poke is expected to hit the Apple App Store on Friday afternoon. It'll work on iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. No word as to whether Android users will ever get in on the fun.
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