If you’re a high-schooler aged under 22 and eager to connect with your classmates within an environment that harkens back to the Facebook from 2004, when it was exclusively a college student network, then today’s Facebook where everyone creeps on others may not be the safest place to engage in such interactions.
That’s why Michael Sayman, Facebook’s 19-year-old product manager, created Lifestage, a teens-only iPhone app that encourages high-schoolers to create video profiles and share them with their school network.
Lifestage was designed to “encourage high-schoolers to find contacts for all their favorite people and let others know how to get in touch with them,” as per Facebook.
After signing up and selecting your high school, Lifestage will show video profiles of others at the same school, or nearby, provided at least 20 people from the school are already using the app.
The app marks profiles that have been updated recently with a sunglasses-smile emoji. Profiles that have been left to languish will show a frown emoji. It encourages high-schoolers to answer various bio questions on their profiles with videos. The more you fill in, the more questions are unlocked and the higher Lifestage ranks your profile.
Some of the app’s key features include:
- It’s not just about the happy moments—build a video profile of the things you like, but also things you don’t like.
- Post what you are into right now—and replace the video in that field whenever you want.
- Share to dozens of fields in sections of your profile.
- Change out and replace your videos in fields at any moment.
“I wanted to work on an app that my demographic would relate to, or at least that my friends would want to use,” Sayman told TechCrunch.
“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?”
Lifestage doesn’t require a Facebook account to sign up.
However, everything posted in the app is public and viewable by anyone inside and outside of your school. Users aged 22 or older are prohibited from seeing other people’s profiles, but Facebook cautions that it cannot confirm that people who claim to go to a certain school actually go to that school.
To help with that, the app provides prominently placed options to report and block creeps who may be hiding their true identity behind sketchy profiles.