Facebook LifeStage app for iOS is designed by 19 year old Michael Sayman who is the youngest Product Manager and also creator of 4 Snaps, a turn-based photo game which was one of the fastest growing apps developed by a teenager. Facebook targets on video-loving youngsters, and Snapchat, with the release of a new iPhone app that allows teens to watch clips about the lives of their classmates.
Lifestage, was released with no fanfare, and is available for anyone to download on iPhone, although seeing profiles of other users is reserved for those 21 years of age or younger. The social network allows users to make video clips to describe likes, peeves, dance styles, and other aspects of their character. Those clips are combined together to serve as public profiles that can be viewed by other Lifestage members, only if they are young enough.
Talking about Facebook LifeStage app, this is a standalone app that lets its users simply update their profile by adding videos. Users in the same school get notified once a user updates his/her profile page updating it with a video snippet. While it may start to sound like the perfect Utopia for teenagers, which involves no interference from parents (like on Facebook) there are a couple of grey areas.
One of them is to do with the sign up process. There is simply no way to tell that users who claim to be enrolled in your high school actually belong to them. There is one little failsafe here and that comes with Lifestage restrictions that allow a student to connect with only one school and more importantly does not allow you to change it. And that’s just about it.
Upon logging in, the terms of service will appear absurd. The app will be able to broadcast all information emanating from a user’s profile no matter what the case. Other than that there are no privacy controls whatsoever.
Teens these days take competition ferociously and social networks have had some problems in the past dealing with their pranks. There have been countless cases of victimization, misuse and other violations on services like Snapchat in the past. So without any sort of monitoring, Lifestage could be controlled in that very direction as it remains to be seen how Facebook will handle these violations as what happens in the app will have real world outcomes.