Facebook is going back to its college roots with today's launch of a "Universities on Facebook" page. According to the Palo Alto, CA-based company, the page will help college-based organizations publicize events, distribute information, and foster school spirit.
The social site has partnered with 10 retailers to kick off the initiative, while attempting to draw the college crowd in during the heart of Back-To-School shopping season. The following brands are either offering 20 to 25 percent discounts or $10 to $25 off a purchase: Eddie Bauer, Tiger Direct, Modcloth, Newegg.com, Football Fanatics, CustomInk, Alice.com, BingNation, Utrecht Art, and Coveroo. The special offers run anywhere from two to five weeks.
When users visit the universities page on Facebook, they can click a "Deals" tab to access those offers. They can also share each deal via the news feed with their friends. (See the image on the right.)
Facebook was launched as a Harvard-based social networking site in 2004 before becoming the largest social networking site with 500 million users. This university page suggests the company has designs on becoming a major online platform for college marketing.
It comes with four sections highlighted by tabs. Via a "Press" tab, the page is designed to help college newspapers use Facebook as a content distribution channel. According to Facebook, the "Community" tab will aid college groups, dorms, clubs, and classes in organizing activities and events.
A "Sports" tab will encourage sharing of athletics schedules while letting users create stores, sell tickets, and post comments in real time. Lastly, a "Student Government" tab will aim to help student governments communicate with the student body while promoting events.
Context Optional helped build out the Facebook "Deals" page, according to a spokesperson for the San Francisco-based social media agency.
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Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.
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