Before he started Facebook, CEO Mark Zuckerberg put together an app called FaceMash. This app compared the looks of Harvard students using images published on their college website.
From FaceMash, Zuckerberg built ‘TheFacebook’ for Harvard students. And it has become Facebook as we know it—a global giant used by half the planet.
Now Zuckerberg wants to revisit their original plans and explore their college roots with a college-only engagement space called Campus.
“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. In the early days, Facebook was a college-only network, 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 explained.
How Facebook Campus works
Campus is like Facebook Workplace that separates and encloses Facebook networks for each college.
“Campus is a college email-verified space designed for students to get updates from classmates, groups and events in a college-specific feed. Students can create study groups, plan virtual concerts or ask for advice with college-only Groups and Events,” the social network added.
With Campus, students can find classmates by class, major and year. And they can create chatrooms for their dorm, clubs or any of their affiliated groups.
To crush any security and privacy concerns beforehand, Facebook outlined how Campus users can control what personal info appears on the platform.
“Every Campus profile contains your name, cover photo and profile photo from your Facebook profile, as well as your graduation year. All other fields are optional and you can choose what you want to include. You can choose to delete your Campus profile through Campus settings at any time and your Campus profile will no longer appear in the classmates directory. You can also delete data such as comments in a group, posts, reactions, or an event in your Activity Log,” said Facebook.
Still, if you choose to use Campus, you risk exposing your personal info. Facebook may track your usage and behavior in Campus for ad targeting on other platforms.
“As with other Facebook products, we may use your activity from Facebook Campus to personalize your experience on our apps to show you more relevant content, including ads. This means your activity on Facebook may influence what you see in Campus, and your activity in Campus may influence what you see elsewhere on Facebook,” the company explained.
“Facebook, according to reports, has been losing its grip on the younger demographic, as they’ve shifted their attention to other social apps, like YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram. […] Facebook Campus is built to bring these users back by offering a more exclusive place for private networking within Facebook,” TechCrunch notes, as Campus may be an attempt to keep tabs on younger audiences. This demographic is increasingly turning to other platforms to stay connected with fellow students.
Reverse engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong posted screenshots of Campus in testing in April this year.
Campus will start rolling out to 30 US colleges and expand in the future.