Facebook streamlines its iOS offerings: Camera and Poke pulled from App Store

Facebook camera (promo video, posting images 001)

The writing has been on the wall for quite some time now for Facebook’s ill-fated Poke and Camera apps.

Ever since releasing the revamped Messenger – and especially the beautiful Paper app – it’s been clear to me that the outdated Poke for iPhone and the meaningless Camera would be headed to the technology graveyard.

Starting today, Camera and Poke can no longer be downloaded from the App Store.

Facebook has discontinued these two programs because their functionality has long been folded into the firm’s main iOS client, as well as into Messenger and Paper…

Facebook Camera debuted in the App Store in May 2012.

After Facebook acquired Instagram, the world’s most popular mobile photo sharing service, Camera’s days were numbered. Originally conceived as a quick way to upload multiple high-resolution photos (2,048-by-2,048 pixels) on Facebook, Camera’s image filters and functionality were soon after supplanted by the main Facebook client.

Facebook camera

A few updates later, Facebook stopped refreshing Camera at version 1.2.1.

As for Poke (below), it was Facebook’s answer to ephemeral messaging software where users exchange photos that automatically disappear after a set period of time.

Realizing some of these temporary messaging apps like Snapchat were gaining ground fast, Facebook hastily put Poke together and released it in December 2012. The hope was that Facebook’s installed user base would prompt folks to ditch Snapchat and readily embrace Poke.

facebook poke

The move backfired: even though Poke allowed folks to send each other a quick message, photo or video – with each item expiring after 1, 3, 5 or 10 seconds – the app fell on def ears with Snapchat fans.

Compared to Snapchat’s ease of use, strong privacy features and frictionless sharing, Poke was a joke. Besides, you needed a Facebook account to use it so it was a non-starter to begin with.

Excluding Facebook-owned Instagram and WhatsApp, the social networking giant now has only four apps in the App Store: the main iOS client, Paper, Facebook Messenger and Facebook Pages Manager (Paper and Messenger are iPhone only).

Facebook Paper (thumbnail 001)
Paper is Facebook’s most recent new app for the iPhone.

It stands to reason that Pages Manager, which at press time stood at version 3.1, will be removed from the App Store as soon as its functionality gets duplicated in Facebook’s main apps.

Apps that survive will still see changes in terms of functionality. For instance, all messaging features will be removed from Facebook’s main iOS client in favor of the standalone Messenger app. Messenger already supports free VoIP calling and the feature will be added to WhatsApp this summer, Facebook said.

Sources previously said that Zuck & Co. are adamant to produce a number of slick, standalone apps designed for mobile throughout 2014. And in addition to these in-house apps, Facebook has of course snapped up Instagram and WhatsApp and just recently acquired the popular life-tracking app Moves.

With that in mind, today’s app removals are nothing more than a quick spring cleaning.

Have you ever used Facebook’s Poke or Camera apps?

Thought so…