Facebook ends attempt to remake original Facebook inside Facebook
Less than two years after its launch, Facebook is shutting down Campus, a section of its app designed for students, the latest blow to the company’s efforts to retain younger users. Campus users could access a special news feed and join groups, events, and chat rooms focused on college life. It also included a directory where users could find and befriend other students on the app.
“We have decided to end our Facebook Campus pilot project,” Facebook spokeswoman Leah Luchetti said in a statement emailed to The edge. “We have learned a lot about the best ways to support students, and one of the most effective tools for bringing them together is through Facebook groups. We informed test school students that Campus will no longer be available and suggested join relevant university Facebook groups.
Luchetti added that all campus profiles, groups, posts, events and other content would be permanently removed. Users can download their Campus data before March 10, when the section will become unavailable.
Facebook notified users of the shutdown via an in-app message.
Launched in September 2020, Campus was first tested with 30 US schools, each of which was siled so users could only interact with other students at their school. It has been isolated from the main Facebook application, allowing users to have separate Campus profiles from their main Facebook profiles. Facebook eventually expanded Campus to include 60 colleges and universities, and as Tech Crunch Noted, the company announced plans to add more colleges over time recently in january.
Facebook itself was, of course, launched on a college campus: Mark Zuckerberg and several classmates founded the platform – first called TheFacebook – at Harvard and initially restricted it to Harvard students only.
But in recent years Facebook, now part of parent company Meta, has struggled to attract and retain younger users. Internal memos leaked last year showed that the number of teenage users of the main “big blue” app had fallen by 13% since 2019, and that number is expected to continue to fall. The company’s research also showed that younger users interacted with the app significantly less often than their older counterparts.