Facebook‘s new app LifeStage was launched today with the social networking giant more focussed on videos to create profiles instead of texts and language. It is no secret that Facebook, to some extent has been upstaged by Snapchat in these past few months with the latter’s Live Stories, a way of sharing experiences through videos. This feature appeared to be quite unique and therefore, became a rage quite soon. Instagram followed with its Stories feature and finally, Facebook is here with LifeStage, a feature that mimics Snapchat’s Live Stories. It has sparked some immediate concerns in regards to privacy which we will go through later but first, let us see what this app is all about.
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- This app, which has been launched only for iOS users, is Facebook’s attempt to compete with Snapchat. Surprisingly, I am going on about teenagers because the app is precisely for them. If you think this is a joke, just go ahead and try to sign up for the app if your age is above 22. That’s right; this new app has only been made available to users who are under the age of 22.
- If more than 20 students of an institution start using Lifestage, then only will all the users of the school will be able to see the profiles of others in the same. It imitates Facebook’s Like a Page where a certain number of user likes only would allow a page to be verified on the social networking platform.
- A user simply has to download the app and verify their age and phone number. Once it is done, they can launch their profile with a video snippet they create of themselves.
- Users can also upload photos with varied facial expressions. The aim of the app is to make everything graphic. Whether it is something a user dislikes or some quirks that he/she wants to display, it can be done by uploading a video or photo.
- Firstly, there are no privacy controls. Whatever a user puts up on their profile is open for everyone to see. There is no way of knowing whether another user is really from the same school or not but there is a failsafe for this because users get to choose their schools once, and there is no changing after that.
- Secondly, there is no conceivable way that a person above 22 can log onto Lifestage. So children are without restrictions in this app as there is no adult supervision. Bullying and cyber abuse may become common without any restrictions.
- Lastly, there is, even more danger because every profile is completely public and, therefore, profile faking and the preying on adolescents could get really common and out of hand. Video platforms are the way ahead, but they also have the potential to destroy lives if these platforms are accessible to people who mean evil.
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