Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
Facebook has released its new app on Android, two months after it made its debut on iOS. We’re guessing you’ve never heard of Lifestage though, because it has so far sailed under the radar on account of its niche nature.
Lifestage is a standalone app aimed exclusively at teenagers. In that you literally have to be under the age of 21 to use it. Anyone over 21 who installs Lifestage will only ever be able to view their own profile. Which renders it utterly useless as a social networking app.
The idea of Lifestage is to build a profile using photos and videos. So, rather than writing about your favorite movie, you’d upload a photo or video related to it. Slowly but surely your likes, dislikes, feelings, and thoughts are revealed through the media you upload to your profile.
When you sign up for Lifestage you tell it what school you attend. The profiles of other people at that school are only unlocked once 20 people are using the app. Thus, Facebook is hoping Lifestage will grow via word-of-mouth as teenagers badger their friends to install the app.
Lifestage on iOS arrived back in August, and has since failed to gain any serious traction. However, Facebook has now released Lifestage on Android, which will, at the very least, massively increase its potential userbase.
There’s No Such Thing as a Private Lifestage
One element of Lifestage sure to concern parents (if not the users themselves) is the distinct lack of privacy. While most social networking apps, including Facebook, let you toggle your privacy settings for a nuanced experience, Lifestage completely eschews the notion of privacy.
As Facebook warns:
“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.”
This effectively means you have under-21s posting videos to an app with no option to limit its audience. There’s no way of knowing everybody else using the app belongs to the same age group, and no way of knowing they go to the school they claim to attend. All of which makes Lifestage open to abuse.
Are you under 21 years of age? If so, are you likely to download and install Lifestage? If you’re over 21, how do you feel about being excluded from using this app? How do you feel about the lack of privacy Lifestage offers? Please let us know in the comments below!
Image Credit: Garry Knight via Flickr