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Facebook Introduces Groups For Schools (Also Known As The Only Thing Facebook Used To Do)

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When Facebook began, it was a closed system for college students, and when they were verified, they could only communicate with other people on their same campus. Slowly Facebook began to open up, allowing more colleges, some high schools, and even people with no education at all.

Oh, this is so unfair.

But yesterday Facebook announced that it was returning to its’ old ways, at least in part. Groups for Schools were announced, an expansion of Facebook’s Group functionality that allows those with a .edu e-mail address to connect with others who have the same .edu address. This is almost exactly how Facebook functioned early on, thus giving astronomers their first micro-level evidence of a universe that, post-Big Bang, may not be expanding but instead contracting.

This is the excuse scientists have been looking for to go on Facebook without getting in trouble.

Speaking to The Verge, Facebook indicated that while it plans to roll out to new schools each week and promises improvement with each addition, it doesn’t want to do more than be a casual spot for simple communication between college students. It’s an interesting move for Facebook, and I’m not sure what it signifies. They’re folding in a feature that used to be their core competency as a single piece of their overall strategy. This is a little like the music player functionality in the iPhone. Did you know Apple used to make basically all of its’ money off devices that could only play music? If you wanted to make a phone call or browse the web or even Twitter you had to use an individual cell phone, laptop, and a community bulletin board at the Whole Foods.

Draw Something was somehow even stupider.

Whatever their strategy, this feels like a nice, complete story for Facebook. It would seem that, after all the Farmville requests, all the Spotify integration, all the ads for Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23, what Facebook was really looking for… was right in front of them all along.

From left to right: colleges, Facebook

Do you want to see Facebook move back towards its’ roots? Or do you love the big, sprawling, feature-rich creature it has become? Let me know on Twitter @mikeyfromsu or in the comments below!

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