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Instagram Is Testing College Community Groups

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With the hopes to lure more college students to its platform, Instagram announces a feature which will makes it easy for its users to connect with their classmates.

The company, which is owned by Facebook, confirmed to CNBC, that it is testing a tool that allows students to join a virtual community of peers and exchange direct messages with them. This could really help students meet new people and find friends on Instagram as they are making the transition to College. After all, college-aged students are the biggest demographic for Instagram, so this makes plenty of sense for Instagram.

How it works

The feature is quite easy to opt in,  to begin the users is prompted users to join a college community and “connect with other students.”After the user has opted into the community, the user’s university and their graduating year will be added to their profile.

It also grants access to class-based lists of other students who have also opted in. Now this is class-based as in those graduation from that same University in the same year, not all of the students in a specific math class that semester, Instagram is not getting that granular here. Instagram will allow users to direct message other users in that class, as well as watch a user’s public Story, straight from the community list.

Instagram verifies a student using information people have publicly shared about their university, the accounts they follow and other connections they have—the good part is that that verification doesn’t rely on an .edu email address or campus geolocation, but instead through “information people have publicly shared about their university, the accounts they follow and other connections they have,” according to CNBC. And it’s definitely not without its issues, as a reporter was able to join a college community group despite having graduated.

The feature is currently in testing phase as confirmed by the company and there are “tools to report inappropriate usage of the feature and that can lead to suspension of the account found guilty of any inappropriate act. This shows that the company will take extra precautions to ensure that their platforms are safe from offenders.

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