Facebook Poke app now offers self-destructing option

If anyone can keep your secrets safe, it's Facebook
If anyone can keep your secrets safe, it's Facebook

Facebook today launched its new Poke mobile messaging app for all of those who think social media would be better off without all of that pesky permanence.

The Poke app lets users send short self-destructing messages, pictures, videos, and yes, even Facebook pokes to anyone and everyone on their friends list.

Users can set messages with a timer of 1, 3, 5, or 10 seconds, giving the recipient a short window of time to view it before it vanishes forever.

Because of short viewing time the app also lets recipients take screenshots of the messages, which also notifies the sender that their message has been saved.

App deja vu

If this all sounds familiar then there is a good chance you have already discovered Snapchat, a messaging app released back in June that offers nearly identical functionality.

Snapchat has become the sexting app of choice due to its self-destructing messages leaving no trace behind, and now Facebook is making a bid for that audience.

Messages sent with the Poke app can only be viewed through the app, without leaving a public marker on anyone's timeline. Just in case the messaging gets out of hand, there is also a report and block feature built into the app.

Even though Facebook recently updated its Messenger app to allow communication with non-Facebook users, the Poke app is locked down to only those with a Facebook account.

Poke is only available on iOS for now, so iPhone users can already start sending secret messages to all of their Facebook friends.