Facebook announced Thursday the pilot of a new college-only section on the platform called Facebook Campus that is intended to serve as a hub for students on college campuses. The idea is to offer ways to connect with classmates and keep up with school events.
"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," Charmaine Hung, product manager for Facebook Campus, wrote in a post.
The dedicated section on the Facebook app, designed for students, asks members to set up a Campus profile that is different from their main Facebook profile. The technology allows students to search the content related to the Campus feed.
Similar to the Facebook, created in 2004, students must have a college email and graduation year to set up a profile. Other information such as their major and minors along with classes, and their hometown, are optional.
The provide enables students to discover Groups and Events that are unique to their school, and connect with classmates who share similar interests. When content is shared on Campus, only people within Campus will see it.
It's designed to allow students to get updates from classmates, groups and events. They can create study groups, plan virtual concerts or ask for advice with college-only Groups and Events.
About 30 universities are participating such as New Jersey Institute of Technology, Northwestern University, Rice University, Sarah Lawrence College, Scripps College, Smith College, Spelman College, Stephen F. Austin State University, and Tufts University.
Facebook says privacy is at the core of the feature. The student's name, profile photo, cover photo and hometown from their Facebook profile will be added to their Campus profile, but the member can edit or remove the hometown from the Campus profile.
Select college Pages have access to Campus, according to Facebook.
These Pages can create, join and participate in Campus Groups and Events, but they do not have access to chats or the classmates directory. People who manage the college’s Page can also see member Campus profiles when the two belong to the same group or event.