“What if I figured out a way to take Facebook from 2004 and bring it to 2016? What if every field in your profile was a full video?” asks Facebook’s 19-year-old product prodigy Michael Sayman.
The answer is Lifestage, a standalone iOS app for people 21 and under, which Facebook is launching today. It asks for your happy face, sad face, likes, dislikes, best friend, the way you dance and more, but instead of filling in this biography quiz with text, you shoot videos. Lifestage turns those clips you recorded into a video profile others can watch.
While technically anyone can download Lifestage, anyone 22 or older will only be able to see their own profile. That’s because it’s built for high-schoolers to learn more about their classmates. A quick swipe lets you block and report people, too, in case anyone sketchy tries to creep on the kids.
When you sign up, you select your high school, and will then see the video profiles from people at your school or ones nearby. And for added virality, Lifestage only shows you other people once 20 people from your school are using it. That way, you nag your friends to join. In that way, it mimics the way Facebook was originally launched — school by school — because social apps are no fun if you don’t know anyone using them.