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What does it mean when someone pokes you on Facebook?

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  • 3 min read

Facebook is a social media giant which was established in 2004. It came with various features, one of them being the ‘poke’ gesture through which you could let people know that you are thinking about them with just one click of a button. Initially, it was overwhelmingly used as a flirtatious method of striking up a conversation with someone that you liked.

The poke gesture has had many interpretations over time, but what it really conveys and if it is still being used will be uncovered in this article.

Also read: Why am I losing a lot of friends on Facebook?

What is the Poke?

Not being short for Pokemon, Facebook has never been clear about the meaning behind the gesture. Even today if you want to poke someone, you can visit your Pokes Page and from the list of suggested friends click the poke button in front of their name. That friend will receive a notification from Facebook informing them that you poked them. You can also block someone if you don’t want them to poke you or else ignore the poke entirely by clicking on the cross option when you receive the poke notification.

If you have ever ‘poked’ someone for one or been involved in Poke wars, then you may have various interpretations of the Poke feature as well. Over time, with less usage of the social media platform, Poke has gone out of style and has been mostly forgotten by the current Facebook users. If you poke someone who does not respond to your poke in any manner, you will be unable to poke them again unless they respond to your first poke.

Meaning behind the Poke

Facebook did not have any specific idea behind the Poke feature. The company once told The Guardian in 2007 that Poke was designed to be a feature devoid of any specific purpose and completely open to interpretations by its users. They encouraged people to come up with their own meaning for the Poke gesture which would ultimately help people connect in other ways. The Poke feature was designed to be independent of any function and to help users to build their own traditions or methods of using the same.

In a world where our interactions are only lessening due to economic, social, political, or work pressure, the Poke feature that has been laying dormant for a while on Facebook may reprise its original role. Instead of acting as a flirty way to converse with someone, it can be used to rebuild connections and catch up with old friends by sending a simple Poke.

Poke can be a decent way of just saying hello or letting someone know that you are still active on Facebook if your activity status is turned off. In Facebook’s initial years, the Poke gesture was increasingly linked to flirting and letting your crush know that you liked them, but ever since other social media platforms started appearing, there came other ways of stalking your crush, and the fever of Poking dissipated. However, now that you know the real meaning of Poke is anything you want it to be, go ahead and poke some old buddies to catch up!

Also read: How to protect your photos on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp?

Sania Usmani

Sania Usmani

Always curious, calm, and a little crazy, you can find me daydreaming or studying. An avid reader, traveler, and graduate of Aviation Science, I love gaining new experiences in life and star gazing. You can contact her here: