Facebook courts teenagers with video story app Lifestage


Facebook has launched a new app, Lifestage, designed for people aged 21 and under to turn their life story into a video profile.

The standalone iOS app has been created by a teenager, Facebook’s 19-year-old product manager Michael Sayman, to appeal to teenagers migrating from Facebook to more youth-friendly Snapchat.

Sayman met with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg two years ago after catching the attention of the tech giant through the creation of a number of popular apps, most notably 4Snaps. Sayman made his first app aged 13. Soon after meeting Zuckerberg, Sayman was offered a job at Facebook. Lifestage is his first creation for the tech company.

Lifestage’s premise hinges on the early drafts of Facebook in 2004. It connects high school students with others from their school, just as Zuckerberg designed Facebook to connect University students through a social network. The design was inspired by screenshots of early versions of Facebook, Sayman said, where profiles were much more centered around schools, relationships, and personal qualities.

The difference with Lifestage, is rather than users having profile photos, the app invites users to record a series of videos and selfies depicting everything from likes, dislikes, friends, pets, dance moves and more. Lifestage turns those clips you recorded into a video profile others can watch.

“What if I figured out a way to take Facebook from 2004 and bring it to 2016? What if every field in your profile was a full video?” Sayman told TechCrunch.

Lifestage is limited to high school students, and doesn’t require a Facebook login. At least 20 students in each school are required to sign up to the app in order for them to interact with each other.

Currently there are no messaging features or one-to-one interactions in the app. Instead, users can post their username for Snapchat or Instagram or a messaging app.

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