Facebook, a social network founded in an college dorm room, is now officially uncool due to the large number of adults who use it – including those college students who first helped launch the network way back when, some now approaching (gasp) their early mid-30s.
Like so many others, Facebook has splashed out quite a bit of money to stay young and hip in recent years, picking up Instagram for $1 billion in 2012 and WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014. But the quest for eternal youth is itself never-ending, reflecting the fickle tastes of teenagers and the constant evolution of technology that enables them to escape the rest of us (if only virtually).
On that note Facebook is launching yet a new social media app targeting users ages 21 and under, according to TechCrunch, which first reported the news. The app, called Lifestage, is a video-focused social network that takes various short videos posted by the user and turns them into a video profile. Fortunately, youths don’t need an uncool Facebook profile to sign up.
Users fill out their Lifestage profile by responding to a series of questions asking about their likes and dislikes and a whole range of other personal traits, like how they dance or what their happy expression looks like, with each new video post prompting a new question. The app then organizes these into a profile composed of video fields instead of the usual text.
Lifestage was designed by Michael Sayman, a 19-year-old prodigy who began working for Facebook after another app he designed, 4Snaps, proved so popular it overloaded Facebook’s free Parse app platform (yes, this is a “so what have you done with your life?” moment).
It’s specifically intended for high school students, and asks users to select their high school so they can meet and learn about their peers; each high school has to obtain a critical mass of 20 signed up users before the network goes live (giving eager early adopters a good reason to evangelize on the app’s behalf). The Lifestage feed shows users when other users have recently updated their profiles, so the user can swipe through and check out the latest version.