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August 9, 2017

Facebook’s teens-only app Lifestage has flunked out of the App Store

by John_A

Why it matters to you

High schoolers no longer have access to the app designed just for them, while Facebook Groups features will soon be only in the main app.

Facebook’s teenager-focused app is no longer on the App Store after only a year of existence — but the social media platform says the app’s short lifespan is has already helped inspire youth-favored options inside Facebook. The developer pulled Lifestage, a social network for high schoolers that took some inspiration from Snapchat, earlier this month, confirming on Tuesday that the app was no longer available for download. The social platform also recently announced that the  Facebook Groups app features are now completely integrated into Facebook and that the stand-alone app will be discontinued on September 1.

If you’ve never heard of Lifestage, you’re not alone — Facebook launched the app quietly last year and it never topped the charts in the App Store. Lifestage was a social network designed for high schoolers. The idea was to connect students at the same school through video profiles and selfies.

The app itself was built by a teenager, Michael Sayman, who was just 19 when the app launched after working for Facebook for a year.

Since the app is designed for high schoolers, anyone who was over 21 was blocked from viewing any profiles or data. Facebook also designed other security features, like quick swipes to block a user and easy in-app reporting of any abuse. The app still raised security questions, however, since anyone could lie about their age to get inside the app.

While Lifestages in no longer around, the app is still inside smartphones in spirit, influencing some of Facebook’s latest features including the augmented reality camera and Stories inside both Facebook and Instagram.

“We originally launched Lifestage to make it easier for teens in the U.S. to connect with others at their school by creating a video profile with content for all the things that make up their identity,” Facebook told Business Insider, which first noticed the app’s absence from the App Store. “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.”

Lifestage hadn’t seen updates for several months before being eliminated from the App Store entirely. While originally an iOS app, Lifestage also launched for Android two months after the iOS launch.

Facebook will also be eliminating the separate Groups app, with the community features still accessible inside the main app. Facebook says the change is to focus on groups inside the main Facebook app.

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