Facebook's chat app isn't all that popular for the momentFacebook's Poke app that's supposed to be a Snapchat competitor isn't a huge success. While it's seeing some popularity, it's nowhere near what Snapchat gets at the moment.
Given Facebook's track record with clones, this is hardly surprising, but it's unlikely Facebook is going to learn anything from this.
Less than one week after Poke was launched, to quite a fanfare, the private chat app isn't doing all that great.
In fact, while Snapchat is the fourth most popular app of the moment, Facebook's Poke is at number 35. It was briefly the top downloaded app.
Facebook itself is only at number 25 with Messenger, the stand-alone app, at number 37. The only Facebook app that's doing OK is Instagram, which is currently the seventh most downloaded app in the App Store.
Facebook has a long history of copying popular services, Facebook itself is a copy of the popular social networks of the moment. There's no shame in that, but the key to successfully copying something is actually understanding what you're copying and what makes it work.
For the most part though, Facebook just copies the surface aspects. It happened with its Foursquare clone, it happened with its daily deals program and it will probably happen with Poke. It's still early though, Facebook's chat app could still make a comeback.
As a side note, Google doesn't seem to be having the same problem as Facebook, YouTube and Google Maps are the top downloaded apps in the App Store.
One problem is that Poke may be too niche to be very popular. Snapchat is popular with some users, the younger ones in particular, since it enables them to share photos or videos on a whim and be sure they disappear soon afterwards.
What's more, it's very likely that the big reason why Snapchat is popular is precisely because it isn't Facebook, even though it relies on Facebook login.