Will Facebook Campus help it save face with teens?

Please like Facebook Campus, kids.


September 11, 2020

There’s a new, college-student-only social network in town, and it works like so: You create a profile using your campus email. You add photos. You “friend” other kids at your school through a built-in directory.

Sound familiar?

Facebook has come full-circle: Its newest idea, “Facebook Campus,” just so happens to also be its oldest idea (from 2004). And they’re banking on it to revitalize a dwindling teen userbase.

Take us back, kids? 

Last year, only about 3% of teens said that Facebook was their most-used social platform — on par with Pinterest and Twitter. That’s down from a peak of 42% in 2012.

Facebook’s share of the pie has been eaten away by Snapchat (44%), Instagram (35%), and, more recently, TikTok (4%).

But Facebook Campus, which is in pilot-mode at 30 universities, could stop some of the bleeding and jumpstart the firm’s slowing revenue growth.

Facebook Campus has its own separate section in FB’s portal 

If you don’t want your new classmates knowing about your Charlie Puth phase, just build a new, Campus-specific profile from scratch. 

On Campus, you can: 

  • Curate a campus-only news feed 
  • Launch dedicated study groups (which in reality means just a bunch of people asking, “Can someone send me the syllabus?”) 
  • Avoid your Uncle Tommy’s conspiracy theory posts   

An added bonus: more data for marketers

The platform will also implore students to make more meaningful peer connections by entering information like their major, which classes they’re taking, and which dorm building they’re living in.

As The Verge notes, that data will better inform Facebook’s ad targeting for a coveted demographic.

Teens have been called one of the “most elusive and valuable” customer groups — largely because they wield tremendous purchasing power and haven’t yet fully formed their brand preferences.

Marketers may not be invited to join the Campus party, but they’ll certainly be lurking outside the windows.

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