What are college students talking about on Facebook?


“Just because a college created a page or group does not mean that all the conversations were happening there,” he wrote. “Students did not care who started the page or group; they just wanted a way to connect with their classmates by finding something in common – majors, hometowns, or interests.”

The analysis comes a month after Facebook announced its Student Groups feature, which  will allow students and faculty members on hundreds of campuses to make private group pages that will be off limits to Facebook members outside the campus community.

Students can share files–homework or class projects, perhaps–and interact with fellow students even if they’re not friends of the social network.

After an initial wave of excitement over the walled-off Facebook student groups, campus technologists said social media administrators should remain skeptical of the new feature.

Oberlin College, a private liberal arts college of 2,800 students, has had access to Student Groups since early March. Since then, students and faculty have created 128 Student Groups pages–ranging from Class of 2016 pages to pages for science students–with the most popular group drawing 280 students.

More than half of those 280 Oberlin College groups have fewer than five members, many of them with the group’s creator as its lone member.