In a constant attempt to gain a younger audience, Facebook has launched a new standalone iOS app called Lifestage, geared towards users 21 and younger. To create a bio, instead of text, video snippets of your likes, dislikes, best friend, dance moves, and more are recorded and compiled into a profile for others to watch. While users 22 and over can technically still download and use Lifestage, they will only be able to see their own profiles as the app is designed for high schoolers to get to know their classmates better. A Tinder-like swipe lets teens block certain users from seeing their profile if necessary. People can start off by choosing their high school but are only able to see others’ profiles once 20 or more users join from that school — similar to how Facebook originally started.
The launch of Lifestage was envisioned and led by Facebook’s 19-year-old product manager Michael Sayman. The precocious teen taught himself to code at 13 and created 4Snaps, a photo charades app, before joining the team as an intern and eventually a full-time employee. He spent the last two years coming up with Lifestage, along with a group of three engineers and one designer. “I wanted to work on an app that my demographic would relate to, or at least that my friends would want to use,” Sayman tells TechCrunch.
While Facebook has had its fair share of failures for standalone apps, Lifestage could also succeed by providing insight on improving its video features, since that’s where Mark Zuckerberg sees the future of the business heading.