- Today, Facebook is getting back to its roots with the introduction of a new product called Campus, a portion of the main app developed exclusively for college students.
Today, Facebook is getting back to its roots with the introduction of a new product called Campus, a portion of the main app developed exclusively for college students. The campus is built to be a place where students at their school can only communicate with peers; they can access a campus-only news stream, and enter classes, activities, and community chat rooms, or campus chats, related to campus life. They will also have access to a “Campus list” in a reference to the original Facebook, where they can find other students and friends.
Students must have their.edu email address and their graduation year in order to reach Campus, and once they are in, they will build a new profile specifically for the section, while their regular profile and cover images will accompany them to Campus. They will also be given the option of adding or eliminating their major, class, birthplace, dorm, and minor. The more information they add, the more commonalities they will be able to identify friends, which, of course, also gives Facebook more details about what the college students are studying and who they are talking to, which informs their ad targeting decisions.
The campus is currently being piloted with 30 colleges around the US including Johns Hopkins, Northwestern, Louisville University, Vassar, and Virginia Tech. (However, not Harvard!) These students will not be able to communicate with each other and the students from neighboring colleges will not. The Campus is being siloed for now, so that only students attending the same school can see and communicate with each other.
Although the Campus profile is noticeably walled off properly from Facebook if a student has blocked another person on their usual Facebook, that setting would also extend to Campus, and vice versa. If an individual breached the community standards of Facebook outside of Campus, they will not be able to enter the section either. Alumni will be able to remain on Campus, but Facebook will send a message indicating that they are leaving Campus because it would not be as important to them.
The campus may be one way Facebook is trying to keep students and young people involved for longer on the initial Facebook app. Simultaneously, it builds off activity Facebook claims it’s already seen on the site. Students are already forming communities for their classes, dorms, and interests, so Facebook streamlines the process and takes full control of how students find each other. Nevertheless, it is noteworthy that Facebook has not incorporated any Instagram incorporation into the Campus pilot, which essentially sets the Facebook app as the core focus of the Campus and an absolute prerequisite if students wish to locate their peers.