Social media giant, Facebook (Now Meta) had about two years back, launched Campus, a college email-verified space sited within the Facebook app that allows students get updates from classmates, groups and events in a college-specific feed. The initiative which received general applause then from the millennial populace, allows students to create study groups, plan virtual concerts or ask for advice with college-only Groups and Events in the Facebook app. Campus also has a directory that allows users to find and friend other students on the app.
But less than 18 months after its rollout, the social media giant is calling it quits of the venture, a decision that on face value won’t go down well with the younger generation.
While announcing the halt of the initiative, Facebook spokesperson, Leah Luchetti in a statement emailed to popular news medium, The Verge said:
“We’ve decided to end our pilot of Facebook Campus. We learned a lot about the best ways to support college students, and one of the most effective tools to help bring them together is Facebook Groups. We’ve notified students in the test schools that Campus will no longer be available, and have suggested relevant college Facebook groups for them to join.”
All profiles, groups, posts, events, and other Campus content would be permanently deleted, according to Luchetti, noting that users still have the opportunity to download their Campus data before March 10th, when the section will become unavailable.
Also, Facebook users were notified of the shutdown through an in-app message on March 2, 2022, which reads: “Facebook is shutting down its Campus feature on March 10”
The Facebook Campus launched in September 2020, was first piloted with 30 United States schools, with each of the schools siloed so users could only interact with other students at their school. The feature was made distinct and walled off from the main Facebook app: with users having their Campus profiles separate from their main Facebook profiles. The pilot was expanded to include 60 colleges and universities, with the social media giant announcing plans to add more colleges as recently as January.
The Meta Inc brand, an offshoot of an initial Facebook brand itself was a venture started by Mark Zuckerberg and some of his classmates on a college campus at Harvard University, and was initially exclusive to only Harvard students.
The brand has in recent years struggled in its bid to not only attract young users, but to also retain them, with internal memos leaked last year showing the number of teen users of the Facebook app declining by 13 percent since 2019, with the number forecasted to continue in its decline. Part of Facebook own research indicated that younger users engaged much less often with the app than older counterparts.
With the major Millennial feature of the app now yanked off, it is expected that the brand will fashion out ways to compensate for youths inclusion aside the Facebook groups it mentioned can replace it.