Saturday, 27 August 2016

Facebook Launches Lifestage App for School Teens


Lifestage_App

With a purpose in mind of targeting high-school goers, Facebook, the social media giant has launched a new iOS app known as Lifestage which requests the user to fill in their biographical details which is then turned into a virtual profile video and is shared immediately with their school networks.

Lifestage which is a standalone iOS app for individual under 21, requests users for their happy face, sad face, likes, dislike, best friends, best book and much more. The users however, instead of filling the biography test with script tend to shoot videos, which later on Lifestage tends to turn into video profile where others in their school network can view.

The app enables users to find video profiles that have been generated by other users in their school enabling them to know more about their classmates, their shared interests and much more, as conveyed by Facebook in a recent blog post. The post also mentioned that each time someone tends to update their page; it would show up in a feed prompting the others to check on it. Since all the posts are public, there is no choice of restricting viewing the same. The purpose, according to its inventor, was to connect members of the same school.

Privacy – A Matter of Concern

An expert had informed BBC that the lack of privacy was a matter of concern. School members could view each other’s profiles once the individual school had reached a registration of 20 members and above. Users above the age of 21 were only capable of viewing their own profiles according to the Tech Crunch website. But the app has cautioned that it cannot guarantee if all its users seem to be sincere. It states that they cannot confirm that people who tend to claim to go to a certain school really go to that school and all videos uploaded to your profile tend to be fully public content.

There is no messaging functionality forLifestage, though users could display their contact details from the other sites like Snapchat and Instagram. Presently on the iTunes store, the app has a 2.5 star rating with comments which describe it as `kinda sorta creepy’ and `confusing’. Around 8% of Facebooks’ US users seem to be between the ages of 13 to 19, according to the statistics website Statista which had been designed by a 19 year old, Facebook product manager, Michael Sayman.

Being Open Could Get in the Way of Getting Connected 

He had mentioned in a Facebook post that the app had been based on the original social network of early days. Way back in 2004, Facebook had been about `who I am’ where his relationship status could be posted and share about his favourite music. It was a way of expressing himself. Presently since Facebook has progressed so much more, there are chances of exploring that concept of `who I am’ once again, though for Generation Z in 2016. Dr Bernie Hogan from Oxford Internet Institute had informed BBC that the absence of privacy settings could tend to be unpopular.

He commented that the `lack of privacy settings on the app in its present condition is symbolic of Facebook ideology which is to stay open and connected as much as possible’.He further added that from their point of view it is a great idea though at times being open could get in the way of getting connected. This is already a known fact, since people tend to be reluctant in sharing things online if they have to share it with all. It also seems that they are attempting in pushing the boundaries of what is thought to be appropriate to share online and then walk back when faced with public criticism.

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