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Everything You Need to Know About Lifestage

Earlier this year Facebook released Lifestage on Android, a teens-only social app. But what does the app offer, and will it be as popular as Facebook?

Facebook can’t seem to let Snapchat go. Lifestage, Facebook’s new teens-only app, was designed to be a competitor to Snapchat, which is largely considered to be the most popular social networking app for teenagers. Like Snapchat, Lifestage is about recording time-sensitive “moments” and sharing those moments with others. But how does Lifestage compare to Snapchat, and can Lifestage compete with Snapchat’s teenage user base?

How Lifestage Works

There are a few ways the app differs from Snapchat. With Lifestage you must locate your school through the app. You’ll create a video bio, where you’ll record videos as a response to questions about yourself. You’re then “graded” according to your activity on the app, and given an emoji beside your name that shows how frequently you engage with the app. Then you can create and share a video profile of “moments” you like and dislike, and view your classmates’ video profiles. You can also add drawings or stickers to your videos.

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How the App Fails

Unfortunately, there is a lack of privacy, and occasionally authenticity, associated with the app. A disclaimer for the app states that all Lifestage posts are public and can be viewed by anyone — those who attend the same school, those who don’t, and anyone else who has access to the app. Further, there’s the potential for teenagers or adults to claim that they go to a school they don’t attend. These two issues could be a deal-breaker for teenagers who want a safe, private social networking presence. With Snapchat and other social media apps, you can choose who sees your content. With Lifestage, all of your content is fair game to anyone — even an adult, who may be thousands of miles away, who claims to go to your school.

Further, this app might not be an attractive option for teenagers who want privacy from helicopter parents or teachers, or are looking to edit their online presence for college applications. Not to mention the design of the app is more juvenile and maximalist in design than Snapchat, which may be unappealing, and even insulting, to anyone past their pre-teen years. All of these reasons could explain why Lifestage has yet to attract a large teenage base — and why it most likely won’t. The whole app begs the question: did Facebook really think this through? Regardless, Facebook will soon know which elements of Lifestage are more successful than others, and perhaps add those features to Facebook or other apps.