Facebook has found its way into nearly every facet of our existence. Heck, it's mapped our lives out year by year dating back to our births. So now they're introducing their newest feature: Groups for Schools, which counts on us to have already forgotten that that's what Facebook was in the first place.
I mean, you saw the movie. And if you didn't, here's a synopsis: Mark Zuckerberg made a database for all the kids at Harvard to be
searchable. That way they could know their peers' relationship status, their class schedules (remember those days?) and their interests. And that's how Facebook began — with little notes from Zuck himself in random spots on the site saying things like, "I'll find something to put here later." Well, those were the days when college was the rite of passage necessary to even join Facebook. You had to have a ".edu" e-mail address to sign up, and you were confined to your school's network. I remember the moment I got my Florida State e-mail address and signed up, and met everyone with common interests within days. I even met my college boyfriend through that first day on Facebook (he had started an "Indie Music" group, sigh), and met most of my friends that way. Facebook was revolutionary, and the requirements for admission made it that much more exciting.
Well, I suppose it's no secret that with the widened appeal of Facebook — you know, the way everyone in the universe has one now, even pets and unborn children — the site lost most of those school-specific perks, like meeting new people and sharing class notes. That's why Facebook is reintegrating those features onto the site, much to the amusement of critics, accusing Facebook of being "stuck in a loop."
While the kinks are still being worked out — one user laments having to recreate school groups within the new Groups For Schools umbrella and reinviting all its members — these are necessary and really useful features that, had Facebook not included in the site, would eventually have been ripped off by another company anyway. And then when that company failed, Facebook would have bought them, like they did Gowalla, Instagram, Friendster, and a dozen or so more. So I guess it's good that they just truncated the process.
The only lamentation I might have is that Facebook should never have shirked these features in the first place, just on principle. They're the foundation of the site, and obviously they're valuable. But I'm willing to let bygones be bygones, especially since I'm not going back to college any day soon. [via FWD, Mashable]
Did you use Facebook in college? Did you notice these features dissolving? What do you think of Facebook reintroducing them?