In its second such attempt at going head-to-head against Snapchat, social media giant Facebook has introduced a brand new social networking app for teenagers. Called Lifestage, the app can only be used by young adults and teenagers below the age of 22. Borrowing elements from Snapchat, Lifestage lets users create a visual profile using photos and videos, in a slam book-like format. Users can fill in fields such as ‘Best Friend’, ‘Likes’, ‘Dislikes’, etc, using their personal photos and videos. The app is aimed at bringing back the nostalgia of Facebook’s early days, when the network could only be accessed by college students in the US. Similarly, Lifestage is meant for school students, who are looking to connect with like-minded peers in their own school. A school is unlocked once 20 or more students from that particular establishment register on the app.
Although the app is not available outside of the US, screenshots on App Store reveal Snapchat-like stickers, doodles and more. But, that’s not what’s most worrying about the app. The description of the app on the iOS app store clearly states that all the information on Lifestage is always viewable publicly.
The description reads, “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.”
With this warning, Facebook seems to have washed its hands off of the responsibility of protecting user privacy, especially for an age-group which is easily exploited on the web. The iOS App store has already garnered a bunch of negative reactions and customer reviews to the app. Here’s a look at a few of them.
Currently, Lifestage is adding U.S. schools to the app. There is no infirmation on if the app will ever extend its reach and availability to other countries.