Facebook is up to its old tricks again, trying to reintroduce one of its original features but like Mean Girls‘ second-fiddle Gretchen Wieners trying to make fetch a thing, it’s just not gonna happen.
The social network is trying to bring back that slightly creepy, uncomfortably direct notification that you never quite understood: the Poke. The new feature, called Hello, is essentially a Poke in the form of a Wave, allowing users to notify one another that they’re feeling chatty, but don’t quite have the words for a full on post.
The new Hello feature was first spotted by The Next Web‘s Matt Navarra, who’s known for keeping tabs on the many new wrinkles and tests from the social network. Facebook reps confirmed the feature is being tested for some users, who at this point appear to be based in the UK.
We reached out to some friends and colleagues in the UK who reported they’re now being deluged with prompts to spread Hello waves across Her Majesty’s realm.
Hello appears to be popping up on both Facebook’s mobile and desktop versions, enticing Brits to annoy the hell out of each other with the awkward invitation for a forced interaction.
But it goes beyond just a notification. Once you’ve been the victim of a Hello, you’ll be haunted by an apparition of the waving hand, commanding you to respond.
A Facebook rep said the feature is just another attempt to streamline communication. Saying hello is one of the most universal things people do, so we’re testing a feature that makes it easier to say hi on Facebook, they wrote in an email.
Apparently, leaving a comment, tagging a friend in a post, using Messenger, or even the identically-named Facebook-branded mobile calling app Hello just isn’t enough.
The Poke never left, you might argue, and technically, you’re right. You can go off and poke whomever you’d like right now. Go ahead. We’ll wait. Hello and Pokes are technically two different features just like all of the various Stories are different.
But the cultural currency of the Poke is long gone and you probably even forgot that the social network’s first Snapchat clone carried that name, since it’s been dead since 2014.
C’mon, Zuck it’s 2017, not 2004. If we really want to bug our friends, we’ll incessantly ping them with attempts to rope them into a Facebook Live With broadcast. Stop trying to make
Pokes Hello happen.
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