The Poke button, one of Facebook's most odd but memorable features, has been quietly hidden from view. Instead of its usual place on every one of your friends' profiles, it is now in a drop-down menu on the right-hand side. You thus have to click twice to use it now: once on the menu button with a gear icon, plus once on the actual Poke button, according to All Facebook.
It's not clear when this change first occurred. It was either when Facebook moved its privacy controls inline or when the social network rolled out improvements to its Friend Lists feature. Either way, it happened in the last month or so.
Facebook hasn't changed the Poke button since it first launched. The point of it was never really clear, although one could argue it was there to exhibit a friendly, fun college environment.
If you poke someone, all you're really doing is giving your friend a notification that tells him or her they have been poked. He or she then has the option to poke you back. It's a useless feature; as Facebook has gained more features over the years, chances are you've used it less and less.
Only the Facebook team really knows what it means to poke someone on Facebook. Some use it out of boredom, while others use it to flirt. Most people poke in response to a notification on the homepage rather than clicking the actual Poke button on someone's profile (although that's necessary to get a poking war started).
When is the last time you used the Facebook poke button? Will you use it less now that it has been buried?