Facebook is starting once again to set new strategy in order to attract new young users.
Facebook announced on Friday a new application that allows posting pictures and short recorded videos for the purpose of competing with Snapchat, which has been growing more and more popular among teenagers. The Snapchat rival application introduce by Facebook, is called Lifestage and is designed for teenagers in order to allow them to post pictures, videos, express their emotions, friendships, likes, and dislikes.
Lifestage opens in a similar way to Snapchat, directly to a camera screen and allows users to go through the profiles of their school classmates, features a variety of filters, and allows video sharing. However, unlike Snapchat, Lifestage does not support messaging, and according to Facebook, they plan to keep it that way. Moreover, the application is currently an invite-only and available exclusively in the U.S. on iOS platforms, and requires having a minimum of 20 active users in each school in order to become active in the network.
19-year-old app developer, Micheal Sayman, who was offered a job at Facebook after he was able to meet with CEO Mark Zuckerberg during Facebook’s 2014 annual conference, told Buzzfeed that he aims to revive the old Facebook experience by rebuilding it from scratch. And just like the very early version of Facebook (2004), Lifestage is currently limited only to U.S. high school students.
Facebook has been trying to create a Snapchat-like app for some while and all those standalone apps, such as Slingshot, riff, and Poke, created for this purpose failed at what they were supposed to do, winning new users. However, Sayman believes that an application like Snapchat but with features of the original Facebook (translated into today’s technology) where users get to build a profile based on their interests, personal information, photos, and videos will be able to gain popularity among teenagers.
In early August, Instagram, a company owned by Facebook, took a shot on rivaling Snapchat and introduced a new feature called stories. Stories is very similar to the Snapchat concept, users upload a picture or a video to their profile which gets deleted automatically after 24 hours. Moreover, developers at Instagram found a way to integrate Stories smoothly into the application’s design so that it could be as appealing as possible to users interested in such app’s, similar to Lifestage’s design approach.
Whether Lifestage will be a flop similar to some of Facebook’s standalone applications or succeed in attracting teen users in yet to be figured out, however, we can infer from Lifestage that Facebook has started changing its concept and vision of what an appealing and reliable video and photo sharing app is.