(Bloomberg) – Facebook Inc. will soon allow college students to create special profiles to engage with classmates and join campus events and groups – a kind of return for the company’s early days when Facebook CEO After Mark was exclusive to college students Zuckerberg set up a social network at his Harvard hostel.
The new product, called Facebook Campus, will be part of the company’s existing service, but users will have to create a special profile using their university’s email address. The profile will only be visible to other students in their college and students can join the group, explore campus events and participate in class discussions.
The idea is to give students “a private, dedicated space to interact with college life,” said Charmaine Hung, a Facebook product manager who sees the effort. Profiles may include information such as the student’s head, which dorm they live in, and what classes they are taking. “We wanted to allow people to add information related to their specific college that they don’t want to put on their main Facebook profile,” she said.
Hung said the Facebook product will help students who are not really in school to stay connected with classmates and others in many colleges and universities by using full or part-time distance education to protect against the spread of Kovid-19 staying.
The product is starting Thursday with 30 colleges and universities, including Duke University, Northwestern University and Virgina Tech.
As Facebook gained larger and additional features, the company is pushing for more intimate ways for users to share, including private groups and messages. When Facebook launched a dating feature in the US last September, it asked users to create dating-specific profiles to keep the dating life separate from its wider Facebook network. The campus operates in a similar way.
“People are looking for a place to connect smaller interests than their entire Facebook”, Hung said.
It is possible that Facebook Campus will help the company remain relevant with college-age users. The network’s popularity among teens has waned in recent years, although the company’s Instagram photo-sharing service has maintained a strong following among young people. Instagram is not currently included in the Facebook campus, Hung said, but may be included in some way in the future.
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