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Dead: Facebook kills off Instagram clone Camera and its Snapchatty Poke app

Considering it has a main app that is consistently top in a mobile store near you, plus some 609-million people who login on their phones and tablets to check their Newsfeeds every singe day, Facebook’s other mobile products aren’t doing so well. Facebook Home is all but forgotten and Facebook is forcing users to install Messenger to boost usage of its standalone chat app. Now, Facebook’s quietly killing off two less popular iOS apps — yes, Camera and Poke are no more.

Late last week, the social media giant pulled its standalone Camera app from the App Store, along with the long suffering Poke. Camera, which launched in May 2012, was a mobile photography app that allowed users to crop, share and add filters to photos… yes, it was basically Instagram, but was built before Facebook announced it would be acquiring the retro photography app. Poke, which was named after the legacy option to virtually jab your friends on Facebook, allowed you to send photos and videos which self-destructed after up to ten seconds. Yeah, it was basically Snapchat.

While the retirement of the two apps came without so much as a blogpost from Facebook, the respective help pages and FAQs sections have been removed from its website. While some of Camera’s features (such as the ability to select and upload photos in bulk) have found their way into the main Facebook apps, Poke performed dismally in app rankings and never really gave Snapchat any major competition. In fact, Facebook reportedly tried to buy Snapchat instead.

While these two apps may not have rocked the mobile world, Facebook is aiming to unbundle its apps and is planning to release more standalone apps this year, in an effort to increase its mobile offerings and streamline its packed main mobile app. While we’ve only been graced with newsreader app Paper so far, it seems Facebook is cutting the dead weight to focus on the future.

Don’t worry, you can still poke your friends though. The option is available on a hidden ‘pokes’ page on Facebook’s site.

Author | Lauren Granger

Lauren Granger
While studying towards her Bachelor of Journalism degree at Rhodes University, Lauren gave into her fascination with everything digital. As she was more interested in creeping tech sites and Twitter than she was in picking up one of those printed things called 'newspapers', she decided to specialise in... More

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