Facebook’s new teens-only app Lifestage turns bios into video profiles

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“What if we figured out a approach to take Facebook from 2004 and move it to 2016? What if any margin in your form was a full video?” asks Facebook’s 19-year-old product expert Michael Sayman.

The answer is Lifestage, a standalone iOS app for people 21 and under, that Facebook is rising today. It asks for your happy face, unhappy face, likes, dislikes, best friend, a approach we dance and more, though instead of stuffing in this autobiography ask with text, we fire videos. Lifestage turns those clips we available into a video form others can watch.

While technically anyone can download Lifestage, anyone 22 or comparison will usually be means to see their possess profile. That’s given it’s built for high-schoolers to learn some-more about their classmates. A discerning appropriate lets we retard and news people, too, in box anyone rough tries to climb on a kids.


When we pointer up, with no need for a Facebook account, we name your high school, and will afterwards see a video profiles from people during your propagandize or ones nearby. And for combined virality, Lifestage usually shows we other people once 20 people from your propagandize are regulating it. That way, we harass your friends to join. In that way, it mimics a approach Facebook was creatively launched — propagandize by propagandize — given amicable apps are no fun if we don’t know anyone regulating them.

App Store Cinderella

Sayman isn’t another 30-year-old product manager from an chosen college. His relatives from Peru and Bolivia lifted him in Miami. There he taught himself to formula during age 13 with tutorials he found on Google. His initial product, a $1 app with tips for a Club Penguin game, warranted thousands of dollars. That income helped his family stay afloat during a retrogression after their residence was foreclosed upon. You can review about his tour in Carmel DeAmicis’ form of Sayman.


Michael Sayman, Facebook product manager and creator of Lifestage

His large mangle came when he overheard his sister on a phone, promulgation photos to a crony and perplexing to make her theory that word they represented. That desirous Sayman to build 4Snaps, a photo-charades app. Thanks to a income share partnership with marketer Instafluence, 4Snaps reached No. 1 on a word games chart, with a few million users.

By afterwards a app was overloading a giveaway tier of Parse, a Facebook-owned mobile backend hosting service. Sayman negotiated a large bonus that let him keep handling 4Snaps. But Mark Zuckerberg finished adult mouth-watering Sayman to come revisit Facebook, emanate a special display for a F8 discussion and eventually novice there.

He’s spent a final dual years removing proficient with a amicable network and entrance adult with a thought for Lifestage. “I wanted to work on an app that my demographic would describe to, or during slightest that my friends would wish to use.” Along with a group of 3 engineers and one pattern contractor, Sayman is now prepared to boat his brainchild.

Your life on a stage

To build Lifestage, Sayman tells me “I went behind and looked during Facebook from 2004. At a time we was in second grade.” Thanks for creation a rest of us feel old, kid. Back then, Facebook non-stop to your possess profile, not a News Feed. Lifestage works similarly. You’ll see a garland of bio questions we can answer with videos. The some-more we fill in, a some-more questions are unlocked.

In a feed you’ll see people from your propagandize who have recently updated their profiles, that we can daub by to see specific answers, or appropriate by to skip to opposite sections. To learn some gamification, people get ranked with aloft levels if they’ve combined some-more to their profile. You’ll also see a sunglasses-smile emoji by people who recently updated, while those who’ve let their profiles languish will uncover a scowl or even a poop emoji.

Lifestage FeedThere’s no approach to hit people directly in Lifestage, given Sayman explains “my friends and we have a bajillion messaging apps we already use and love, so what’s a indicate of carrying another messaging app? It only seems irritating to me.” Instead, any users gets a “Reach Me” line of content that appears underneath their name, that could be used to uncover off their Snapchat or Instagram handle, or another square of hit info.

Lifestage could constraint a courtesy of teenagers that Facebook fears competence trip divided to Snapchat. When asked about Snapchat, Sayman pronounced “I consider of it like unequivocally good competition. They’ve got a great product and there’s a lot to learn…about how people have started to develop a video space.” That said, he does note that his Instagram Stories are removing some-more than his posts on Snapchat.

The worry for Lifestage is that Facebook has a bad lane record with standalone apps, carrying close down Poke, Slingshot, Paper and Notify. Facebook clearly doesn’t see it derailing Snapchat, because Lifestage’s promotional materials embody Reach Me content like “Snapchat me.” Oh, and Facebook launched it on a Friday afternoon, a least-read time for blogs. It’s roughly like it’s not ostensible to attain on a own.

Instead, Lifestage could learn Facebook how to urge a profiles with video, as Mark Zuckerberg wants “video during a heart of all a apps and services.” Facebook launched form design videos during F8, though they don’t seem all that renouned yet.

Lifestage takes an innovative stance. You could contend your dog is your favorite pet, we adore Radiohead or that this is who you’re dating. But with videos, those aren’t lines of general text. They’re totally singular videos that truly tell a story of who we are. That same thought could make Facebook seem fresh, even if it’s roughly as aged as a kids Lifestage was built for.