Facebook launches new Lifestage app for teenagers but there are already concerns of its safety

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For a long time there have been claims that teenagers have been leaving Facebook as their parents and grandparents sign up to the social network.

Now Facebook has responded by launching an app for those who are 21 and under.

Lifestage, as the app in known, is currently available to iPhone users in the US and encourages users to record short biographical video clips.

Users are encouraged to record clips of their “best friend” or their “embarrassed face” to build a profile.

All this is a completely separate app from Facebook and only those who are eligible for the app and have signed up can see what is posted.

Users are also encouraged to add their contact details.

There are however safety and privacy concerns. Although the app is aimed at those 21 and under there is no age verification and there are also no controls to restrict who can see videos.

One user who reviewed the app wrote: “Social media is really getting out of hand for kids and I totally understand they want to connect but it is very dangerous because some adults come on to this app and try to pretend they are 14 or 16 and yet they are 35 which I think is very unsafe especially that there was so much of information to give to Facebook.”

Users are also encouraged to give details of other social media sites that they have signed up for.

Prior to using the app, Facebook warns: “Everything you post in Lifestage is always public and viewable by everyone, inside and outside your school. There is no way to limit the audience of your videos. We can’t confirm that people who claim to go to a certain school actually go to that school. All videos you upload to your profile are fully public content.”

It should be stressed that users can be blocked and report other users if they are suspected of spying on students.

Lifestage was designed by Michael Sayman, a 19 year old who has created thousands of gaming apps prior to being signed up by Facebook.

Sayman said that he spent two years creating the app and wanted to give users a similar experience to that of Facebook back in 2004.

He explained: “Lifestage looks back at the days of Facebook from 2004 and explores what can be done if we went back and turned the crank all the way forward to 2016 with video-first.”

There are no reports at this stage about when of if or when the Lifestage app will be released on Android or if it will be released elsewhere.

Source: TechCrunch

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