What Does Poke Mean on Facebook?

By Kefa Olang

A Facebook poke can have a variety of meanings.
i Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images News/Getty Images

You've just received a Facebook poke, and the first thing that comes to your mind is, "What is this, and what does it mean?" A Facebook poke is a simple and fun communication feature. For some, it's an enjoyable way to communicate, but some people consider it irritating. Either way, it's good to know what a Facebook poke is, so you can know how to respond if you get one, and whether a friend would be open to receiving one.


Although you can get a friend's attention on Facebook in a variety of ways, the poke feature, as unusual as it sounds, is often used to say hello. When you poke someone, he receives a notification and a funny hand icon appears along with his name on his homepage. Unlike wall posts or comments, which other friends can see, only the person you poke can see the poke.

Who Can You Poke?

You can poke only a Facebook friend. You can also poke someone in a shared network. You can't poke someone you blocked, or a person who hasn't confirmed your friend request. One of your Facebook friends can reciprocate your poke. You can also receive a poke from someone you share a network with even if he isn't on your friends list.

Poking Someone

So you've made up your mind to poke someone, and don't know how to do it. Poking is actually simpler than it may seem. If you open your friend's timeline, you'll see a menu button next to the "Message" tab. Click the button and click "Poke" from the drop-down menu.

Ignoring Pokes

Unfortunately, once you poke someone, she has the option of poking you back or rejecting your poke depending on how she feels about the gesture. Although it sounds like it would be fun to receive a poke, some Facebook users don't really care much for them. If someone ignores your poke, sending a private message or a wall message might be a better alternative.