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Facebook yanks Poke and Camera standalone apps in bid to consolidate titles

In what appears to be a continued paring down of extraneous apps in its iOS software ecosystem, Facebook on Friday removed Poke and Camera from the app store.

The removal of Facebook's widely panned Poke and Snapchat rival Camera came without warning and little fanfare. Facebook confirmed the apps' removal to The Verge, but declined on commenting on the matter.

Facebook's standalone Camera app mirrored certain functionality found in Instagram, which the social network purchased for $1 billion in 2012.

Instead of rolling Instagram into its main app, Facebook left the picture sharing service as its own entity, but borrowed some features like batch uploading and photo filters for the creation of Facebook Camera. Certain functions were subsequently ported over to the flagship Facebook app including Camera's photo selection tool.

As for Poke, the app first launched in 2012 as a competitor to Snapchat, with the app allowing users to send each other messages and short videos. Unlike other messaging services, Facebook's erstwhile solution let users set a "self-destruct" time — up to ten seconds long — that would wipe the message after being opened.

By pulling the two apps Facebook is apparently cleaning house as its new Creative Labs division rolls out more software like the well-received Paper, a storyboard-style approach to reading and interacting with news feeds.