August 31, 2010, 4:02 PM

Facebook goes back to school

The new Universities on Facebook page offers discounts from retailers.

Zak Stambor

Managing Editor

Lead Photo

As millions of college students head back to campus, Facebook is returning to its roots with the launch of the page Universities on Facebook.

Facebook describes the page as a gathering place where students and campus organizations can discover how to leverage the social network to publicize events, distribute content and foster community. The predecessor to Facebook, created by Mark Zuckerberg while he attended Harvard University, aimed to connect college students.

“The page offers students best practices on how to reach out to people on campus,” writes Facebook communications team intern Arielle Aryah on the page. “Whether it be sharing class notes with your friends or ensuring that student governments are more transparent, this page allows students to understand the ways to communicate and connect effectively with their community. It will help extend the impact of your message far beyond an event, a group, or a wall post by itself.”

The page also features a Deals tab that offers students back-to-school discounts from retailers such as Newegg Inc., Alice.com, Eddie Bauer and ModCloth. Below each offer is a button that enables students to share deals with their Facebook friends with a single click. Newegg is No. 12 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, while Eddie Bauer is No. 86 and Alice.com is No. 466.

The promotions range from Newegg offering a free printer or $25 gift card with the purchase of select laptops to Eddie Bauer offering $25 off purchases of $50 or more.

“To celebrate the launch of the page we have worked with third-party developer Context Optional and a variety of brands to offer students great deals for going back to school,” Aryah writes. “We want to make returning to campus as easy as possible.”

The page also features a Press tab that shares best practices for college newspapers to make content more social and cross-promote stories, a Community tab that provides ways for groups, dorms, clubs and classes to spread awareness and increase involvement, and a Student Government tab that offers ways for student governments to communicate with other students.

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