Facebook's Teen-Centric Lifestage App Has Dropped on Android

Don't be ashamed if Lifestage is unfamiliar, it hasn't been heavily publicised, even to its target audience. Since appearing on iOS back in August, Lifestage has been quietly ticking away, a haven for teens who want the Facebook experience, just without the, erm, Facebook part.

As you might expect, its existence largely stems from a desire to muscle Snapchat out of that demographic. It also serves as a testing ground for elements which may later end up being incorporated into Facebook's main body.

Most of Lifestage is just taking pictures of yourself and then doing various funky things with them, up to and including filters and templates. It's neither original, nor particularly intriguing, but with Messenger Day now also doing the rounds, it makes up one part of a larger initiative to woo the teen crowd back into Facebook's pen.

What Lifestage does that Snapchat doesn't do, is effectively guilt-trip you into using it more. When you post an update, you get a sunglasses emoji next to your name, but fail to do so for long enough and you get a frowny face, and eventually a poop emoji. This is meant to encourage more frequent use, but it kind of comes across as a twisted kind of emojional blackmail.

Of course, even if it isn't all that successful (and by deliberately limiting its audience through age-based blocking, it never will be), it's almost more of a research tool than anything else. Facebook are trying to gauge exactly what they should be doing to win teen audiences back around, and if a vapid, throwaway app like this helps, they might as well roll with it.

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