How Does Facebook Suggest Pokes
You may forget that Facebook was originally a tiny Myspace clone for privileged college students to uncomfortably flirt with one another since it has evolved into such a huge, omnipresent service.
However, the obnoxious prototype site at the heart of Facebook remains. The “pokes” feature is the most apparent vestigial limb, which has managed to withstand years of Zuckerberg and co. modifying the site.
However, pokes may still be found deep inside Facebook’s app store. There’s also a list of “recommended pokes” below the pokes, all of whom you should probably never poke.
Who are these individuals? I’m not sure why Facebook wants me to poke them.
My list seems to be mostly made up of individuals I’m familiar with and know quite well, but none of them are close friends or people I often speak to (or Facebook stalk). The same group of around fifteen individuals seems to rotate through the list no matter how many times I reload the website.
They seem to vary from “college friends who ran in similar circles” to “real rondos.” My sister and girlfriend, with whom I have the most regular Facebook interactions, are not on the list. Only Jacob Shamisen, a fellow Insider writer, has become a friend or with whom I have spoken in the last year.
Rebecca Cohen, a deputy editor at Law.com, was contacted to see if she had any clue why she keeps showing up on my list.
We worked at the same college paper for a while and went on the same spring break trip sophomore year, but we haven’t stayed in contact since. Our last Messenger chat took place in February of this year. Regardless of how many times I reload my recommended pokes, she continues reappearing.
Other Tech Insider writers have reported seeing similar strange, consistent lists of rondos that Facebook believes they should poke. Although the boyfriend of tech writer Danielle Muoi appeared on her list, Facebook generally avoids recommending close pals.
So, why is there a list like this? What are the requirements for it? In the Facebook ecosystem, poking has always been a strange, meta feature. Nothing occurs when you poke someone except they receive a notice that they’ve been poked. It’s the social media equivalent of the Ouroboros, a joke on itself that means nothing more than a hazy, flirtatious purpose.
It’s unclear if it’s still there because the programmers want it, or because there’s a big demand for poking somewhere in the globe, or just because no one has bothered to remove it. A request for comment from Facebook was not immediately returned.
Facebook’s pokes are now hidden behind a wall of perplexing clicks. To get there on the desktop site, go to “Apps” and then “Pokes,” where you’ll see your unanswered pokes along with your recommended pokes. Click “More” in the iOS app’s bottom right corner, then “Apps,” then “Pokes.”
One Last Word
For what it’s worth, according to Cohen, Facebook does not believe she should poke me.