Original post (8/21): Mark Zuckerberg really wants you to know that Facebook is not sooo 2004. First it was Instagram’s Stories that mimicked Snapchat. Now the social networking giant has launched a completely separate app called Lifestage that does what Snapchat does, except Lifestage basically lets teens creep other teens that they don’t even know.
Facebook introduced Instagram Stories earlier this month and faced some criticism for copying Snapchat. Just like Snapchat, it allows users to post a slideshow of your favorite moments, which disappears after 24 hours. And it even lets you add drawings or stickers, just like Snapchat.
Facebook’s brand new app, Lifestage, is the latest attempt at proving that yes, Facebook can capture the new generation that uses Snapchat for chat, Venmo for money, and Tinder for dates. I mean, it even has an age restriction. That’s right – if you’re over 22, then you can’t even see other people’s profiles.
Lifestage is basically an app that lets you create your profile using photos and videos: things you like, things you dislike, your facial expressions, your best friends etc. If 20 or more people from one school sign up, then that school is “unlocked,” meaning you can discover video profiles created by others in your school.
All of this is clearly a part of Facebook’s attempt to become more video-centric. Mark Zuckerberg has emphasized over and over again how important video consumption will become in the near future, and it seems like Facebook’s attempt at all-things-video domination is far from being over. But I’m not sure if Lifestage will successfully deliver the message.
Under the app description, Facebook warns:
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.
Sound a bit worrisome? When you are putting your face, your personal information, and your life on display, it’s not very reassuring to read that people that you don’t even know can view your profile. In other words, whether it’s a high school or a university, this app essentially allows 20-something-year-olds to creep one another. Plus, not to sound too unkind on humanity, but anyone could easily fake their profile to prey upon adolescents.
Video platforms mean huge potential, I know, and Instagram may be heading the right direction, but I’m not so sure about Lifestage. From a 22-year-old guy’s perspective, Facebook trying so hard to prove that it is hip makes it look… not hip.
Lifestage is currently only available for iOS devices, but we will be sure to let you know when it lands on Android!