Facebook returns to its roots with Campus, a college student-only social network. In a nod to the original Facebook, the social media giant announced today that it’s launching Facebook Campus, a space for college students to connect.
“In the early days, Facebook was a college-only network,” Facebook said in a statement, “and now we’re returning to our roots with Facebook Campus to help students make and maintain these relationships, even if they’re away from their college.”
Facebook said Campus is a dedicated section of its app that connects students who have similar interests and makes it easier for them to find and start conversations. To create a Campus profile, students must use their college email and graduation year. Optional information such as major, classes and hometown can also be included. Students’ names, profile photos and cover photos will follow them from their Facebook profile.
Students will have access to a Campus-only news feed, groups and events related to campus life, and chat rooms called Campus chats. Only Campus users can see content shared there.
And like the original Facebook, a Campus directory will help them find and meet other students.
“This year, students across the country are facing new challenges as some campuses shift to partial or full-time remote learning, so it’s more important than ever to find a way to stay connected to college life,” the platform said.
Currently Facebook Campus will be available at 30 universities around the U.S., but students can only interact with those who attend the same school. Within Facebook Campus, students can also discover and join Groups and Events for their school. These can be those associated with official student clubs or Greek organizations, those associated with a particular dorm or even those just focused on a particular interest, like photography, cooking, writing, hiking, etc. Students can create buy/sell groups or roommate search groups, too, or anything else not in violation of Facebook’s terms.
These groups and events essentially function like those on Facebook itself, with the exception being that they can only be viewed, joined and accessed by students.
A small handful of universities have already partnered with Facebook to distribute announcements to their Facebook Campus channel for their students to see. However, any school can choose to opt-in to this feature at launch. At launch, the following universities and colleges will support Facebook Campus:
Benedict College; Brown University; California Institute of Technology; College of William & Mary; Duke University; Florida International University; Georgia Southern University; Georgia State University; Johns Hopkins University; Lane College; Lincoln University (Pennsylvania); Middlebury College; New Jersey Institute of Technology; Northwestern University; Rice University; Sarah Lawrence College; Scripps College; Smith College; Spelman College; Stephen F. Austin State University; Tufts University; University at Albany – State University of New York; University of Hartford; University of Louisville; University of Pennsylvania; University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire; Vassar College; Virginia Tech; Wellesley College; and Wesleyan University.
While Facebook’s early days saw it targeting Ivy League schools, the company says these first Facebook Campus schools were selected for diversity’s sake. That is, diversity of the student population, diversity of geography and diversity of school specialties (like liberal arts). They also represent a mix of public and private schools.