Facebook may be ubiquitous, but it’s not cool anymore. After pivoting its main app into a newsfeed, the company has released a new app for iOS called Lifestage, but it’s just for teens.
More specifically, it’s for those under 21. Called Lifestage, the app is a video-first take on social networking. Rather than post status updates, you let the world know how you’re doing via video.
In setting up the app, Lifestage asks you to shoot video of yourself with sad or happy faces, and even dance. It then compiles those snippets into longer-form video, which is used as your main profile video.
It’s a bit voyeuristic, but Facebook may actually be onto something. The earliest days of YouTube were beset with vloggers trying to stand out and make a name for themselves. Some succeeded, but most failed.
If Lifestage can take that make-or-break attitude and spin it for social — that is, strip the ad dollars out — there’s reason to think it can challenge established powerhouses like Snapchat.
And interestingly enough. Lifestage isn’t the vacuum Facebook is. Users can add a ‘Reach Me’ note to their accounts, directing others to their social network or app of choice for direct messages.
But it’s also not clear what Facebook is doing, here. It’s possible the company simply wants to engage a younger generation, but it seems like an information grab at the same time. If the company can accurately graph the social presence of a younger crowd it’s not engaging, that data may be invaluable.
And like all things, Facebook probably wants to take its new-found knowledge and apply it to its ad network. So much for stripping ad revenue out of social.