Meta tried to return to its roots as a college-focused social network in fall 2020 with the launch of Campus, a private section on facebook that was only open to people with an @.edu email adress.
Though, the initiative wasn't successful, as Meta is now letting users know, that Campus will shut down on March 10th.
Through an in-app message, Facebook is letting it's users know that their Campus Pilot will close down, and that Campus profiles, groups, posts and other data is going to be deleted. Before it's termination, users will be able to view and download their data using an export tool, the message noted.
“Since we launched the Campus pilot, it’s been our mission to help bring college communities closer together. But we’ve learned that the best way to support students is through Facebook Groups,” the message explains.
Social media consultant Matt Navarra told TechCrunch he had been alerted to the closure by several Campus users and posted a screenshot of the message to Twitter. Other Campus users had also noted the planned shutdown and the accompanying plans to delete the data. But very few had commented on the loss — an indication, perhaps, of Campus’ lack of traction.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a sense, that Facebook could potentionally capitalize on the fact that a lot of stutends had shifted to virtual learning to adopt to online learning on the college network.
Campus was however not offered as a seperate app, but was in the ''More'' section, with other Facebook options like Watch, Dating, Gaming, News and more. That could have made it feel more like a part of Facebook itself than a private network.
Facebook marketed the feature on the platform - sometimes a bit too agressive, the users started to complain.
A twitter user noted how they were being pushed to join Campus, even though they were not a student or a teacher.
The spokesperson also confirmed, the descision to shut down Campus noting;
We’ve decided to end our pilot of Facebook Campus. We learned a lot about the best ways to support college students, and one of the most effective tools to help bring them together is Facebook Groups. We’ve notified students in the test schools that Campus will no longer be available, and have suggested relevant college Facebook groups for them to join.