If you feel Facebook is not as hip as other social networking apps that school kids and college goers use, then you are right, even Facebook thinks that its principal social networking website isn’t drawing teens and young adults. In fact, industry data has revealed that more and more school kids and college goers are moving to other social networking apps, leaving Facebook as they feel that Facebook is mostly used by their parents and older people.
But teenagers and young adults like school kids and college goers are a big market and any serious online and mobile company wouldn’t like to miss such a big niche. This is why Facebook has launched a social networking app for school kids and college goers called Lifestage. It’s basically a teen-only social networking app where school kids and college goers will be able to post pics and videos and then these pics and videos will be available to everyone to see.
What makes Lifestage a social networking apps specifically for teens, school kids in college goers? If you are over 20, you cannot even see the profiles of people using Lifestage, so how much more obvious can one get? But just as small kids these days lie about their age and sign up for websites like Facebook and Twitter, why can’t adults do the same and sign up for Lifestage by lying about their age?
In the beginning the teen-only social networking app from Facebook is available only on iOS, and this is a bummer.
Lifestage gives so much stress on video that when you create your profile in Lifestage as a video profile. For example, when you sign up, the app asks for your happy face, sad face, likes, dislikes, best friend and the way you dance (along with other stuff) and you supply all this information not by typing text but by creating videos. For example, you can create a video of your sad face and your happy face. You can create videos of your likes and dislikes. You can create video of your dance move. You can create video of your friends. When you have submitted all these videos, they are compiled into your video profile.
The Lifestage social networking app for school kids in college goers is basically for kids of this age group to learn more about their classmates and to learn more about kids in other schools and colleges. Once you have uploaded your profile, it is publicly available – everybody within the chosen age group can view your profile whether he or she is your friend or not.
You will be surprised to know that the Lifestage social networking app has been created by a 19-year-old Facebook product manager named Michael Sayman working at Facebook.
Unlike other social networking apps, Lifestage is mostly about knowing people rather than posting live updates. Once you start using it, you will be uploading videos for every expression, as explained above. Once your profile is created, other users of Lifestage will be able to see your profile videos. There is no way of directly contacting people using Lifestage.
The only problem with this latest social networking app for school kids and college goers from Facebook is that whatever you post immediately becomes publicly available. This Android Authority link quotes the app description in which Facebook warns, “Everything you post on 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.”
Although people who are hellbent upon accessing your personal information are going to be able to do it anyways, this does create some worry for parents and guardians because when kids start posting videos and images they exercise little discretion. At least on other social networking websites there is some sense of accountability and you can question the promoters in case some problem arises. In this case, Facebook straightaway says that the information on Lifestage is unverifiable and, it is publicly available.
Anyway, Lifestage seems to be just another social networking app for school kids and college goers wanting to ride the wave of the popularity of video apps. Whether it succeeds or not depends on how fast school kids and college goers start using it.