Facebook introduces ‘Groups for Schools’

Someday (I imagine), I’ll tell my children that I remember joining Facebook when its URL was “thefacebook.com,” it was only open to a few schools and required a “.edu” address to join.

For a while, Facebook was a place just for students to hang out and make ridiculous groups dedicated to ridiculous things, like the beards of our favorite professors, without worrying much about our social reputation. Those days are probably gone forever, but the social network has introduced a new feature that’s a nod to its roots.

On Wednesday, Facebook introduced “Groups for Schools” which, well, is currently open to a select number of schools and requires a “.edu” address to join. The new feature is meant to help students work on their homework together, foster class discussion and keep track of campus events.

In a company blog post discussing the new feature, Facebook engineer Michael Novati wrote, “You can join a group for your major to discuss classes, for your sorority to plan upcoming events, or for your dorm to share photos.”

Facebook has also added a file-sharing feature that will allow students to collaborate on projects such as lecture notes, schedules or group assignments.

To find out if your school is participating, head to the Groups for Schools Web site and search for the school of your choice. If your school already has groups, you’ll be directed to that page. If not, you can sign up to be notified when your school does join the effort. Anyone from a school can create a group.

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Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.

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