January 3 (RIA Novosti) Just weeks after its launch, Facebook's self-destructing photo-sharing application, Poke, has seemingly fallen from grace with young mobile users still flocking to the SnapChat app that Poke was meant to smother, industry experts say.
Poke was created as the social network’s response to Snapchat, an app that allows users to share with friends photos and videos that can only be viewed for a few seconds before they are automatically erased.
Deemed a “sexting” app by some because of its disappearing photos, SnapChat was launched in July, and soon after became one of the top-ranking applications in Apple’s App Store. It also quickly got the attention of Facebook, which just recently paid one billion dollars to buy Instagram, another photo-sharing site.
“The cool thing about Snapchat is that it is one of those rare startups that got popular with real users before it started getting hype in the tech press,” wrote Nicholas Carlson deputy editor at Business Insider in an article published on the site.
Just days after Snapchat’s mainstream debut, Facebook unveiled Poke which debuted at the top of the Apple App Store.
“Here is the most important thing you need to know about Poke: It's not so much a Snapchat-competitor or even copycat. It's a complete ripoff – an almost exact clone,” wrote Carlson.
Despite an initial surge in downloads that moved Poke to the top of most app stores and an extensive public relations campaign that claimed Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg had written code for the new app himself, Poke has failed to become the “Snapchat-killer” analysts initially predicted.
As of Wednesday, Poke’s ranking had fallen to 197 in Apple’s App Store. Snapchat on the other hand is still ranked relatively high on the App Store popular list, at number five.
Meanwhile, privacy has also become an issue with both applications, after reports surfaced showing how users can out-smart the apps and retrieve “deleted” items by plugging the phone into a computer to search for the files.
Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel told website Buzzfeed “there will always be a way to reverse engineer technology products,” but added the company is working on a way to fix the glitch.
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Any response would likely boomerang on Russia – the partnership between Rosneft and ExxonMobil is a case in point. The United States has hit Russia with a third round of sanctions. This time the Americans went with a higher caliber weapon, targeting Russia’s biggest energy companies (Rosneft and Novatek) and banks (VEB and Gazprombank).