Facebook announced Lifestage, a new and separate app which will cater exclusively to users under the age of 21 and under.
Facebook continues to remain a popular service in the world of today. However, the younger demographics have been leaving the social media giant. According to market studies, individuals under the age 21 are enjoying other social media services such as Snapchat more.
Lifestage, the new app from Facebook, takes heavy inspiration from Facebook’s 2004 model, as well as Snapchat and other popular social media apps.
Although it is currently available for iOS exclusively, Facebook is confident that Lifestage will quickly hit its popularity boom. The app is based around the idea that teenagers are interested in creating a public visual profile and use it to connect and share with others.
Social Features and Privacy Standing on Lifestage
Facebook designed its newest app to work in tight connection with already active school communities and networks.
With Lifestage, a typical user will be able to post and share personal video updates. Messaging can be managed through a “Reach Me” interface. Social media integration is built into the app.
In theory, the app will be one of the new great ways to keep in touch with classmates and schoolmates and to enable creative or social individuals to gain extra popularity in their school collectives.
However, several parties have repeatedly expressed their concern in regards to the app’s public-only settings. The target audience for Lifestage are teenagers with ages between 13 and 17. Currently, anyone on the internet could lie, state that they are under the age of 21 and that they are enrolled at a certain school.
In return, Facebook stated that privacy in its newest app will be guaranteed by easy and accessible options to report and block users. Past experience shows, however, that reporting and blocking users are both abusable and can lead to social media bullying.
Furthermore, reporting and blocking have only proved useful in dealing with the more verbose user base, making both options ineffective solutions when dealing with an issue which is easily fixable by adding a privacy filter.
Signing up for Lifestage does not require a Facebook account or any connectivity to Facebook. However, in order to ‘activate’ a school on Lifestage, at least 20 users need to be signed up with that school.
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