Facebook Testing Students-Only Groups For Universities

By David Cohen Comment

Perhaps nostalgic for its Harvard days, Facebook is testing a feature that allows users with authenticated .edu email addresses to create groups for students at their universities.

TechCrunch reported that Brown and Vanderbilt are the only schools with the new feature to date, but Facebook is considering rolling it out to other universities so that students can create groups for dorms, classes, clubs, parties, and other entities.

Only students who have used their .edu email addresses from schools that are part of Facebook’s test will receive notification of the new feature.

And the new groups employ the same open, closed, and secret settings that standard Facebook groups use. No one outside of the schools testing the feature can see the groups.

TechCrunch added that Brown and Vanderbilt were selected for the test because students and alumni have different email addresses, and the social network wanted to ensure that only students took part.

We wonder how much of a difference it makes to have a specific collegiate group feature on Facebook when you can already use the existing groups to limit membership to people approved by the adminstrator; the screenshot below shows groups within the Brown University group, so that’s one differentiator.

Perhaps there’s also a time savings over having administrators individually okay students if having a school’s email address would automatically give one admission to the group.

Readers, do you think Facebook needs a separate feature for students only, or do the existing groups capabilities suffice for achieving this same end?

Screenshot courtesy of TechCrunch.