What does a Facebook poke actually mean?

So, you got “poked” by someone on Facebooknow what? A Facebook poke is a feature on the social media platform that lets userssend a single virtual notificationto a friend. No more, no less. Despite the feature’s name, the purpose of a poke has never been entirely clear. While poking was all the rage in 2007, it’sworth noting that its popularity has significantlydeclined on Facebook over the past few years. In 2011, the feature officially went into hidingon the site as part of a series of functionality updates.

In the younger days of Facebook, a poke wasa cute and timid (though ineffective) way to virtually flirt or just say hello. Today,pokesstill exist but it’s hardlystraightforward: Receiving a casual poke from your grandmother and your crush in the same day canleave you with bizarre mixed messages.

Still confused as to why someone would poke you on Facebook, orwhat it could mean? Here are all your Facebook poke questions, answered.

What does Poke mean on Facebook?

Essentially, a poke is the same as a like, with a much moreambiguous purpose.

According to Urban Dictionary,a poke “allows users to say ‘hello’ to or show interest in a friend without having to go through the tedious process of crafting coherent sentences.” Basically,a Poke means someone is trying to get your attention, flood your notifications just for fun, or findan excuse to flirt.

An early Facebook FAQ page read,When we created the poke, we thought it would be cool to have a feature without any specific purpose. People interpret the poke in many different ways, and we encourage you to come up with your own meanings.

Whether or not you find a pokesweet, unimpressive, or creepy is entirely up to you. Althoughif you’ve frequented Facebook a lot in the past year, sometimes it’s nice to have a wordless interaction void of any rants or political commentary.

Screengrab via Facebook

A Poke is arguably an outdated flirting method. Sliding into DMs, or direct messages,is the new way to get someone’sattention onsocial media.

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How do you Poke someone?

First, choose your poking victim. Go to their profile. If you’re being considerate, decide if the person you are about to poke knows whatmessage you are trying to get across.

Screengrab via Facebook

Click the “…” button next to the Message button. The drop-down menu will give you severaloptions. Select Poke. Your poking recipient will then receive a notification.

What is a poke war?

A poke war is exactly what it sounds like: A constant exchange of pokes back and forth between two users. Poke wars serve no purpose and always end when one person gives up and decides to stop poking back. There’s no real end game if you choose to start a poke war, unless you plan to be relentless enough to out-poke your opponent.

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How to reject apoke

If you receive a poke from someone you don’t want to poke back, you have the option tojust ignore it. Facebook lets you delete Pokes by clicking the gray“X” so you won’t have to see the notification. If the notificationscontinue, blocking the sender is always an option, especially if you aren’t friends with them.

Screengrab via Facebook

Facebook doesn’tallowusers send multiple pokes to someone they’ve already tried to poke until the recipient replies or pokes back. Thankfully, this means youcan’t be harassed by another user or haveyour notifications blown up by 20 pokes from the same person.

Editor’s note: This article is regularly updated for relevance.

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