Facebook just launched a new standalone app called Lifestage, a video-centric social media app designed for users who are 21 years-old and under.
Lifestage is specifically made for high-schoolers. Although anyone can download the app and set up a profile, a user over 21 will only be able to see their own profile and no one else’s. The main purpose of the new app is to help young people connect with their classmates. This principle is much the same with how Facebook was restricted to college students when it first launched in 2004.
“Lifestage allows people to build a profile made up entirely of ‘video fields.’ It allows them [to] show others who they are and to find out more about the people in their school community as well as meet new people,” 19-year-old Facebook product manager Michael Sayman explained.
In setting up Lifestage, users will be asked to shoot short videos of themselves. The app will compile those recorded videos and make them into a longer presentation, which will then be turned into a user’s main profile video, according to The Next Web.
Since the app was specifically made for younger people, Lifestage will ask the user which high school they’re attending. Users won’t need a Facebook account to sign up. The app will then automatically start showing video profiles of people attending the same school or from ones that are nearby.
“I wanted to work on an app my demographic would relate to, or at least that my friends would want to use,” Sayman told TechCrunch. Because the app is pretty video-centric, Sayman was also asked about Snapchat. “I think of it like a really great competition. They’ve [Snapchat] got a great product and there’s a lot to learn… about how people have started to evolve the video space,” Sayman said.
Since Lifestage is more about connecting users with their school community through video, the app doesn’t feature a way for users to chat with one another. Sayman explained that there are already countless messaging apps making it pointless to add chat on the app. Instead of a chat service, a short “Reach Me” text will appear below people’s names showing their user names for Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter or any other social network.
As of now, Lifestage is being rolled out on a school-by-school basis — the same way Facebook started over a decade ago. All schools are locked by default. A school will only unlock once 20 people have already signed up to that particular school. And because the app is basically for teens, users will be able to quickly block and report suspicious profiles with a single swipe.