Face­book Shuts Down its Teen-Exclu­sive Lifestage App


Facebook’s Lifestage app was released in the mid-2016 in a bid to challenge the budding Snapchat app which is more popular among teenagers. The app which was available only on iOS allowed only people under 21 to join the app — on paper obviously — has now been shut down.

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Users on the  Lifestage app had to fill in their profile not with texts but with self-recorded video snippets that others can view their profile to know them better.

The app was created by 19-year-old Facebook product manager Michael Saymen, who at the time of the launch had told TechCrunch that he wished to replicate the earlier model of Facebook when the social network was restricted to college students back in 2014.

It was meant to work on a school-to-school basis with the app only activating for teens from a particular school once there were more than 20 people from the same school on the app.

Since all the content on the Lifestage app was public and the users couldn’t control that setting, it led to a lot of criticism regarding privacy. More so because the app was targeting teenagers.

According to the app creators, anyone over 21 could also join the social network but will not be able to see anything except their own profile.

But quite frankly, for a creep it can not be as difficult to fake the age, enter a school name of choice and stalk teenager profiles, which by the have information displayed publically.

Although the app was launched to compete in the Snapchat dominated teenage social networking market, going by the fact that media reports regarding its shutdown started popping up almost 5 days after it was taken down from the Apple App Store, seems like it never really presented any threat to its competitor.

Talking to Business Insider, a Facebook spokesperson said, “Teens continue to make up an important part of the global community on Facebook, and we’ve learned a lot from Lifestage. We will continue to incorporate these learnings into features in the main Facebook app.”

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Bike enthusiast, traveller, ManUtd follower, army brat, word-smith; Delhi University, Asian College of Journalism, Cardiff University alumnus; a journalist breathing tech these days.