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Facebook Returns To Its Roots

Image via Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash

In 2004, 19 year old Mark Zuckerberg launched "TheFacebook" from his Harvard dorm room after about a week of coding.

"Everyone's been talking a lot about a universal face book within Harvard," Zuckerberg said. "I think it’s kind of silly that it would take the University a couple of years to get around to it. I can do it better than they can, and I can do it in a week."

Since then, Facebook has amassed billions of users and become one of the world's largest companies with a market capitalization of nearly $800 billion.

Yesterday, Facebook went back to square one with the introduction of Facebook Campus, which is a college-only space designed to help students connect with fellow classmates over shared interests.

"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 said.

Facebook Campus will be located in a dedicated section within the Facebook app and contain a college profile that's different from the user's Facebook profile. Just like in the original Facebook, students must provide a college email and graduation year to sign up. Students can then connect with each other and discover events and groups specific to their university.

Key features of Facebook Campus include Campus-only News Feed for news and updates, Campus directory to find classmates by class, major, year and more, and Campus Chats, which enables students to create real-time chat rooms.

"We wanted to create a product where it was easy for classmates to meet each other, foster new relationships and also easily start conversations," Facebook Campus Product Manager Charmaine Hung said. "And we really think that Campus is more relevant than ever right now. With COVID-19, we see that many students aren't returning to campus in the fall. Now, classes are being held online and students are trying to react to this new normal of what it's like to connect to clubs and organizations that you care about, when you're not together."

Facebook Campus has been rolled out to a handful of colleges in the U.S. Harvard was notably absent from the list of schools getting a first look.

With the launch of Facebook Campus, Facebook has now officially come full circle in less than 20 years.

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