Facebook announces new app aimed at teens

Facebook announces new app 4aimed at teens

Over the weekend, Facebook announced a new standalone app aimed at teens called Lifestage. Not only is it meant to be a competitor to Snapchat, but it’s also said to return to Facebook’s roots. Facebook’s first incarnation was a social network geared specifically toward college students. Lifestage, which so far has only been released for iPhone, is geared towards users that are 21 and under and is supposed to help you get to know the classmates at your school as the app is very school-centric.

As is the norm with most apps geared towards kids and teens, there are some security concerns. The first is that there is no actual age verification system for Lifestage, so it has the potential to be abused by offenders. Another issue is that Facebook doesn’t say what the under in 21 and under is. The closest to an age limit that I’ve found was the rating on the Apple app store which says that app is rated 12+. Lastly, since the app is so focused on schools it has the potential to be used for cyberbullying.

This is not to say that Lifestage doesn’t have its advantages. For example, a user can only list their school once. This prevents potential offenders from changing schools to in order to target new victims at a different school. Lifestage also has a feature where someone can be blocked with a single swipe.

However, like most apps Lifestage is just a tool. While most apps have security concerns or features, the only true defense between potential predators and kids are parents that are actively engaged with their child and their social network use.