Lifestage, Facebook’s latest app might be trying too hard

Lifestage Facebook InstaStories Snapchat
The app is just like Snapchat stories, but only for those under 22

Video is the future. I know it, you know it, Mark Zuckerberg knows it. Facebook’s latest release is a video-based app but unlike its recent release of InstaStories, Lifestage comes with a few quirks.

First and foremost, what is the app all about? Just like Snapchat and InstaStories, Lifestage allows you to v-log your life for others to see. So you create a slideshow the whole day, which later disappears after 24 hours. So then what’s the difference? Lifestage is only for teens. Yes, you read that right. If you’re 22, you can’t see anyone else’s profile.

You download the app, log in and one of the things asked in your personal information is your school or university. Once more than 20 people from the same school have logged in, the app is “unlocked” and you can then see video profiles from others in your school.

The app description states the following:

“Everything you post in Lifestage is always public and viewable by everyone, inside and outside your school. There is no way to limit the audience of your videos. We can’t confirm that people who claim to go to a certain school actually go to that school. All videos you upload to your profile are fully public content.”

Now, the first question that comes up when you learn of the app: Is this really necessary, or is Facebook just trying to gain more traction with a much younger audience?

Secondly, how secure is this app going to be if anyone can log in, create a fake profile and view any school — isn’t that a bit creepy? Let’s not forget that teens aren’t exactly known for being responsible, especially when it comes to online content in today’s day and age.

The app has been designed by Facebook product manager Michael Sayman, who is 19 years old himself. In his Facebook post, he wrote “Back in 2004, Facebook was all about ‘who I am’. I could post my relationship status. I could share what my favourite music was. And it was all about expressing myself.

“Today as Facebook has grown into so much more, we see the opportunity to explore that concept of ‘who I am’ once again, but for Generation Z in 2016.”

The concept of the app is pretty simple and seems like an opportunity for the younger generation to have a sense of identity on social media but the lack of security seems to be a concern for most. The app, currently available only for iOS, isn’t getting very good ratings with most not even crossing two stars.

What do you think — a simple harmless app being scrutinised too much, or potential threat to teens?


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