The facebook poke app is a useful tool for SaaS and social platform integration. For those why don’t know at this point, poking a facebook account is basically like a tap on the shoulder, or a way of saying “hey there”. It’s a way to politely acknowledge or gain attention from others without the obnoxious flood of emails or pleas for attention that used to be the only way to achieve it.
Where this app comes in handy, though, is its automation and remoting ability. For example, one doesn’t have to be logged into their facebook account to receive a poke notice with this app tied to their account, and conversely, they do not have to log in in order to conduct said poke of another account as well.
This is useful for transactions and account systems which use facebook as a method of signup or sign in, as upon receiving notices or confirmations, pokes can automatically be sent and received. This way, a user doesn’t need to constantly refresh or watch their account to await a confirmation notice or information and updates which use facebook as a delivery platform.
This technology of course is not perfect, as the pokes seem to have some delays and sometimes require resubmissions in order to work. However, these issues are just early growing pains that any form of automata is bound to experience.
This doesn’t mean there aren’t some long term concerns with the facebook poke app as far as ramifications, though. It could be used as a “spamming” system to harass and annoy facebook account owners in the same sense that poorly used advertising or spam email is used now. But, there seem to be limitations to the rate of pokes sent to total accounts and individual accounts at this point to keep a cap on this. However, unscrupulous users are rather good at finding exploits and work-arounds, so this is one aspect of this app to keep a watchful eye on as it gains popularity and deployment.
In the future, this app may have other uses as well, being integrated with Joomla, Squidoo and WordPress frameworks to allow for automatic poking and data exchange between users and readers of content.
One interesting use of this technology right now is for petitions and charity systems, where users conduct a drive to gain a number of unique pokes from viewers to hit a goal, for which a donation may be made, or for which each poke counts as a signature on a digital petition.
Beyond these novelties, though, it seems to not have found its niche application yet. Pokes don’t exchange much data beyond account names, so no real useful exchanges of information or data can really be exchanged in this manner at this point. However, SaaS companies are rather good at finding new uses for rather limited exchange mediums, as Twitter has demonstrated in spades, so this system will definitely find its calling in time.
Until the intrepid SaaS companies do this, we can at least say the facebook poke app is … interesting if just a novelty.