“Campus offers an all-in-one, college community forum that centralizes updates on things like student clubs, and enables students to create and discover informal social events and interest-based groups,” Facebook Product Manager Charlaine Hung said.
Facebook started as a means for college students to interact with each other. In September 2020, Facebook retraced its company steps by releasing Facebook Campus. According to Hung, “we’re returning to our roots with Facebook Campus to help students make and maintain these relationships.”
So far, students have been using Facebook Groups and Events to stay connected with other students. This was not always ideal since people from other institutions or those no longer attending could see and interact with their posts. Users now will only have access to others from their institution.
The platform started with only 30 colleges and has since grown to 200 institutions. The platform is still considered a beta program and will be planning to add more institutions from the U.S. and other countries. Each phase and new addition to the platform launches two times a year.
The platform includes a campus-only news feed and a campus directory. “The campus-only news feed includes student groups, plan virtual concerts or ask for advice with college-only Groups and Events,” Hung said. The platform is similar to the early days of Facebook, where students could find classmates by class, major, year and more.
Students only need to sign up with their student email and password to access the platform. “Students can find Campus in the Facebook app, create their Campus profile, and start connecting with their fellow classmates in Groups, Events and Chats,” Hung said.
An article by Hung described the key features of Campus as a campus-only news feed, a campus directory and a new way to chat. “Students can create chat rooms for their dorm, clubs or any other groups they’re part of within Campus,” Hung said.
Yao Vang, a fourth-year, is double majoring in Management Information Systems and Operations and Supply Chain Management. Vang is active on Facebook and knows of the new Campus platform. “I’ve seen other people use it and that I should connect to it,” Vang said.
Currently, he uses the group messaging app, GroupMe, to communicate with his classmates and form study groups. “There’s usually a GroupMe for every Zoom class, so, usually, I would try to find people on there,” Vang said.
Vang said if he were earlier in his college career, he would use the platform. “I would use it to connect with other students and create more study groups,” Vang said.
An article by Dianne Hajdasz, privacy and data policy manager at Facebook, addresses any privacy concerns students may have regarding Facebook Campus. “Campus does not have public groups or public Events like Facebook does where content is visible to users on and off Facebook,” Hajdasz said.
Vang is not concerned about any privacy issues on the platform. “If you already have it installed, they already have access to your information,” Vang said. “I don’t think it really makes a difference.”
Campus is optional for students to join and most information that is input is optional. “Every Campus profile contains your cover photo and profile photo from your Facebook profile, as well as your graduation year,” Hajdasz said.
The new platform by Facebook could allow students to form study groups for classes and connect with and form bonds with students across campus.