Facebook's latest defense against Snapchat was built for teens, by a teen


Facebook just announced a strange new app called Lifestage. It was built for teens by a 19-year-old.


The standalone product is meant for high schoolers to learn more about their classmates, and kids can use it to make videos showing their likes and dislikes. They can then watch the videos their classmates made. The app can't be used for messaging and you can't "like" a video, but Lifestage will tell teens how many times their profile has been viewed each day (but not who has viewed it).



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Facebook is so serious about the high school thing that it will only unlock the app for any given school once 20 self-identified students create profiles. There's no real verification system (most high schoolers don't have an email address specific to their school) but Facebook says that it will be easy to report users who seem like they're misrepresenting themselves and boot them off the app.

Facebook thinks this app will appeal to teens partially because it was designed by a teen.




Here's young Michael Sayman.

Lifestage is the vision of 19-year-old product manager wunderkind Michael Sayman, according to TechCrunch.

"What if I figured out a way to take Facebook from 2004 and bring it to 2016?" he explained to TechCrunch's Josh Constine. "What if every field in your profile was a full video?"

The new app feels a lot like another wannabe-Snapchat in its attempt to capture younger audiences and its focus on vertical video. Facebook just released a copycat of another Snapchat feature earlier this month, when it launched "Instagram Stories."

But TechCrunch's Constine suggested that the app isn't meant to succeed on its own, but to teach Facebook more about how to integrate video into people's Facebook profiles.

For better or for worse, the company envisions a day when most of your News Feed is video.


The app is only available on iOS for now.

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