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Facebook adds college specific profiles to get back to basics

(Bloomberg) – Facebook Inc. will soon allow college students to create special profiles specifically for connecting with classmates and participating in campus events and groups – a kind of return to the company’s beginnings, as Facebook after the Chief Executive Officer Mark was exclusively for college students. Zuckerberg founded the social network in his Harvard dorm.

The new product, called Facebook Campus, will be part of the company’s existing service. However, users need to create a special profile using their university email address. The profile is only visible to other students in their college, and students can join groups, find campus events, and participate in classroom discussions.

The idea is to give students a “private, dedicated space to interact with their college life,” said Charmaine Hung, a Facebook product manager who oversees the effort. Profiles can include information such as a student’s major, which dorm they live in, and which classes they attend. “We wanted to allow people to add information about their particular college that they might not necessarily want to include on their main Facebook profile,” she added.

According to Hung, Facebook’s product will help out-of-school students stay connected with classmates and others at the many colleges and universities by taking full- or part-time distance learning to help them stay safe from the spread of Covid -19 to protect.

The product launches Thursday with 30 colleges and universities, including Duke University, Northwestern University, and Virginia Tech.

As Facebook has grown in size and added features, the company has also pushed users towards more intimate ways to share, including private groups and messaging. When Facebook launched a dating feature in the US last September, users were asked to create dating-specific profiles to separate their dating life from their wider Facebook network. The campus works in a similar way.

“People are looking for a space to connect with interests that are smaller than all of their Facebook,” said Hung.

It’s possible that Facebook Campus is also helping the company stay relevant to college-aged users. The network’s popularity among teenagers has declined in recent years, although the company’s Instagram photo-sharing service has a strong following among young people. Instagram is not currently involved in the Facebook campus, Hung said, but could be included in some way in the future.

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