Facebook Is Revamping One of Its Oldest, Most Controversial Features: 'Nature Is Healing'

When Facebook launched in 2004, it offered the ability to “poke” your friends to get their attention as a virtual nudge — and the feature has been debated ever since. Was it a nuisance or a low-key way to say hi?

While it lost its visibility (and popularity) over the years, in celebration of Facebook’s 20th anniversary, Meta is hoping to capitalize on nostalgia for the retro practice by bringing back the ease of “poking.”

And like the 20-year fashion cycle, it seems to be back in style. In a Threads post, Facebook revealed that there had been a 13x increase in poking over the past month.

“I poked Prisiclla, and now we’re married,” Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg joked about his wife of nearly 12 years in response. “Nature is healing.”

Facebook told TechCrunch that in recent weeks, the social media platform has made it easier to find the informational page about poking easier, as well as adding a button to poke a person as soon as their name is searched on the platform.

When users type “poking” or “pokes” into the Facebook search bar, the Poke page will surface.

The company also said that over 50% of recent pokes came from a younger group of users aged 18 to 29.

Moreover, a recent report from the New York Times found that Gen Z has become more active on Facebook due to the platform’s Marketplace feature, where users can buy and sell new and used goods without required fees or online transactions.

Marketplace currently has over one billion monthly active users and per a 2022 Statista study, was the second most popular online destination for resold goods (eBay was first), even beating out Craigslist.

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