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Facebook Has Killed The App It Was Using To Attract Teen Users

Lifestage sounds more like a health care app than a way to share selfie videos, but either way, it's reached the end of its life.

Posted on August 8, 2017, at 5:14 p.m. ET

Facebook has discontinued Lifestage, a stand-alone selfie-sharing app for iOS and Android aimed exclusively at high schoolers.

Thomas White / Reuters

The app, created by a 20-year-old product manager at the company named Michael Sayman, lasted less than a year, with Facebook officially ending support for it on Aug. 4, according to a spokesperson. Sayman joined Facebook when he was 18. Business Insider first reported the news of the app's shutdown.

Lifestage opened to a phone's camera, much like Snapchat does. Teens on the app — it only allowed people under 21 to sign up — could share pictures and videos of themselves that only people at their school could watch, much like the app Afterschool. Twenty registered users or more comprised a school.

But not long after it first debuted Lifestage, Facebook largely obviated the need for it by creating in-app Snapchat clones with Instagram Stories, WhatsApp Stories, and Facebook Stories. The company said in a statement, "We've gotten some helpful feedback from this app that we're using to improve a number of visual and camera features across the Facebook app."

It continued, “Teens continue to make up an important part of the global community on Facebook, and we've learned a lot from Lifestage. We will continue to incorporate these learnings into features in the main Facebook app.”

Facebook never shared user numbers for Lifestage. Overall, the company had 2 billion monthly active users as of June. In November 2016, Facebook said that a billion of its monthly users only access the social network on their phones.

Of all Facebook's stand-alone apps, only Facebook Messenger has reached a number of monthly active users — 1.2 billion in April — comparable to Facebook itself. The company's other apps, including Facebook Slingshot, Riff, Rooms, Moments, another Snapchat clone called Poke (RIP 2012–2014), and its Instant Articles predecessor Paper (RIP 2014–2016) have not achieved widespread adoption. Facebook shut down the team responsible for these experiments, the Creative Labs division, last year.

Lots of people on Twitter had not heard of Lifestage and joked that it had never been A Thing.

@broderick wtf is lifestage? i've literally never heard of it before and i do social marketing for a living

Huge blow to the dozens of Lifestage users

Faceboke shuts down what?? #Lifestage... sounds like a euphemism for the menopause. Wait a min.. how many…

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.