Social networking giant Facebook has recently launched a new social media app designed solely for use by teenagers.
The app, known as Lifestage, was launched in the US on Friday 19th August for users on Apple devices and is specifically designed for those under the age of 21.
Lifestage invites its users to create and share a series of videos of themselves displaying a range of emotions, including happiness and sadness, as well as videos that show how they dance, their favourite songs, their least favourite songs and an homage to their best friend. Furthermore, users of the app are also invited to share school-related antics from within the classroom, the playground and the locker corridors. It is not just the school day that is the focus of the app, as teens can upload videos from wherever they are, whether in the kitchen at home or on the local park.
All videos are framed on the platform, with each frame being colourful and containing lots of animations which gives Lifestage a similar vibe to popular photo and video messaging service Snapchat.
Once again, Facebook’s obsession with emulating the success of Snapchat has come to light. Ever since the social media platform failed in its bid to purchase the company back in 2013, it has tried to create a rival tool in the hopes of copying its success. Up until now, all of these attempts have failed, although its recent introduction of Instagram Stories is beginning to catch on with a number of users of the Facebook-owned photo service.
However, unlike popular rival Snapchat, the user is not in control of who sees the content they post, and this has become a real concern for privacy campaigners. When users first register for the service, they are presented with a message that informs the user that all content on Lifestage is public and can be viewed by anyone – inside and outside of the school they attend. As well as this, the app highlights that there is no facility to alter who can view the user’s content.
This message may trigger the alarms for many, but Lifestage’s developers have said that no-one over the age of 21 is granted access to content from other users, and encourages users who experience any concerning incidents to report it to them through the app.
The creation of Lifestage is Facebook’s way of keeping the attention of the younger age group, and it is no secret that the social site has been struggling to do this in recent months, so it hopes that this app will be able to keep ‘Generation Z’ keenly interested and active within the boundaries of Facebook.