Facebook’s Lifestage app for high school teens arrives on Android

facebook introduces lifestage app compete snapchat lifestage1
Lifestage — Facebook’s video-centric social app for high-school teenagers — is now available on Android, after initially launching on iOS in August. As a result, even more younger users will be able to access the app.

If you’re not a high-schooler then we’re afraid Lifestage is still off limits for you. Any feelings of FOMO (fear of missing out) you may have can surely be chased away by indulging in a flurry of Snapchat activity — the popular app may be home to a large crowd of young millennials, but is essentially open to everyone.

Lifestage describes itself on the App Store as the social network that “makes it easy and fun to share a visual profile of who you are with your school network. Simply capture into a field on your profile, then post it on your profile. Once your school is unlocked, you can access the profiles of others in your school community (and all over!) so you can get to know people better in your school and nearby schools, discover others who are into the same stuff you are, and connect with them.”

The app essentially lets users post status updates via video, and direct friends to their other social pages for direct messaging through “Reach Me” notes on their accounts. Lifestage limits its users to 21 and younger, aimed at letting students get to know their classmates. Privacy-wise, the app makes it easy to report and block other users with a quick swipe.

When signing up, you don’t have to connect your Facebook account — simply select your school and you can view the profiles of classmates or at schools nearby. To unlock the feature to view others at your school, the Lifestage first requires 20 users to sign up at an individual school.

Worryingly for Facebook, Lifestage is reportedly struggling to find an audience, according to Engadget, and could go the way of the platform’s previous (failed) stabs at emulating Snapchat, such as Poke, Riff, and Slingshot.

The “Facebook isn’t cool anymore” mantra is moving from myth to reality when it comes to younger users, and the world’s top social network is refusing to sit tight and wait for next year’s results before taking action.

In 2014, users between the ages of 13 and 17 left Facebook at a clip of 25.3 percent over the course of three years. From 2015 to 2016, that age group continued to decline within the social network’s user share, from 16.7 percent to 16.4 percent. With its new app Lifestage, which recalls the site’s initial model from its 2004 founding, and takes hints from Snapchat and other modern sharing tools, Facebook aims to improve these numbers and build a stronger base when it comes to teenagers.

While Lifestage might provide a nice video-focused outlet for students to socialize with their friends, it would be naive to assume this is Facebook’s goal in the long run. The app’s purpose could easily be for Facebook to use it as a testing area to study the video-sharing habits of younger users on a video-first platform, to perhaps later integrate some of its features into Facebook itself.

Updated on 10-29-2016 by Saqib Shah: Added news that Lifestage is now available on Android

Social Media

Nearly 75 percent of U.S. users don’t realize Facebook tracks their interests

Did you know Facebook tracks your interests, including political and multicultural affiliations? According to a recent Pew study, 74 percent of adult users in the U.S. have no idea Facebook keeps a running list of your interests.
Mobile

Text up a storm with the best messaging apps for iOS and Android

These days, most people tend to favor digital messages over phone calls. We have the best messaging apps that allow you to share photos and documents, send text messages, and more with end-to-end encryption.
Social Media

Here’s how to save someone’s Instagram Story to your phone

Curious about how to save someone's Instagram Story to your phone? Lucky for you, it can be done -- but it does take a few extra steps. Here's what you need to know to save Instagram Stories on both iOS and Android.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Social Media

No yolk! A photo of an egg has become the most-liked post on Instagram

Until this weekend, the most-liked post on Instagram was of Kylie Jenner's baby daughter, which has around 18 million likes. It's now been knocked off the top spot not by a stunning sunset or even a cute cat, but by an egg.
Social Media

Invite your friends — Facebook Events can now be shared to Stories

Facebook is testing a way to make plans with friends to attend an event -- through Stories. By sharing an event in Facebook Stories, users can message other friends interested in the event to make plans to attend together.
Social Media

A quick swipe will soon let you keep bingeing YouTube on mobile devices

The YouTube mobile app has a new, faster way to browse: Swiping. Once the update rolls out, users can swipe to go to the next (or previous) video in the recommended list, even while viewing in full screen.
Photography

Starting your very own vlog? Here are the best cameras to buy

Any camera that shoots video can be used to vlog, but a few models stand out from the crowd thanks to superior image quality, ergonomics, and usability. When it comes to putting your life on YouTube, here are the best cameras for the job.
Social Media

Twitter extends its new timeline feature to Android users

Twitter users with an Android device can now quickly switch between an algorithm-generated timeline and one that shows the most recent tweets first. The new feature landed for iPhone users last month.
Social Media

YouTube to crack down on dangerous stunts like the ‘Bird Box’ challenge

YouTube already bans content showing dangerous activities, but new rules published by the site go into greater detail regarding potentially harmful challenges and pranks, including certain blindfold- or laundry detergent-based stunts.
Mobile

It’s back! Here’s how to switch to Twitter’s reverse chronological feed

Twitter has finally brought back the reverse chronological feed, allowing you to see your feed based on the newest tweets, rather than using Twitter's algorithm that shows what it thinks you want to see. It's easy to switch.
Social Media

Nearly a million Facebook users followed these fake Russian accounts

Facebook purged two separate groups behind more than 500 fake accounts with Russian ties. One group had ties to Russian news agency Sputnik, while the other had behavior similar to the Internet Research Agency's midterm actions.
Social Media

Twitter suffers privacy scare as bug reveals tweets of protected accounts

If you set your Twitter account to private and you have an Android device, you'd better check your settings now. Twitter says it's just fixed a four-year-old bug that flipped the privacy switch to make the account public.