Google+ isn’t the only social network making updates today. Facebook has just announced “Groups for Schools” which will allow anyone with an active .edu email address to join groups at their school. Michael Novati, a software engineer at Facebook made the announcement today, giving the examples of groups for a major, a sorority, or a dorm. “We are also introducing file sharing for these groups, to make it even easier to share lecture notes, sports schedules, or class assignments,” wrote Novati.
Novati’s announcement stated that “Groups for Schools” will be rolling out gradually. Facebook has provided a sign up page for those lucky enough to have a university email address, so they can receive confirmation when the functionality comes to their school. Pictures of how the feature will look were also provided. Above is an example of how a School’s group page may look, and below is a pic of an imaginary Economics class group.
I must say, I approve of this initiative by Facebook. When I signed up for Facebook during my freshman year of college it was university-exclusive and useful. I could see interests and writing ability of the people in my classes and decide who would make the best group-project partners. By the time I graduated, I couldn’t even find the feature that allowed me to list my current class schedule. The “Groups for Schools” system brings the site back to its original purpose – finding out who that girl in your class is, and whether she likes Arrested Development. Perhaps Facebook has re-realized that creating in-groups isn’t necessarily about keeping people out – sometimes it’s about better knowing the people inside.