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New Social Networking Site CollegeOnly Is Backed By PayPal Co-Founder And Unlike Facebook Is For College Students Only

August 31, 2010

Male and female college student smiling while looking at computer screen in dorm roomWith everyone from middle schoolers to mothers to recruiters and managers on social networking sites, many college students reminisce about the days when Facebook was just for them.

According to Mashable, a New York-based entrepreneur has the perfect solution. Josh Weinstein has created a site designed solely for college students called CollegeOnly. Currently, the site is only available at Princeton, Yale and Cornell, and could potentially expand (but not beyond the college demographic, noted Business Insider. In fact, Weinstein said students get "expelled" once they graduate). Students can sign up using their university e-mail addresses. Everyone is instantly connected--no need to send friend requests, but users have the option to block people.

Like Facebook, users can upload photos and post status updates. Pictures and posts on CollegeOnly, however, are only visible to those on the site so students do not have to worry about parents, professors or potential employers seeing them. "Facebook has changed--for the better--but its original use is currently unserved, as college students are less likely to upload photos or post what they are up to with parents and potential employers looking on," said Weinstein.

The New York Times added that, unlike Facebook, CollegeOnly allows anonymous posts and updates--after all, part of the fun of being in college is trading gossip and obsessing about your crush--things you may not want linking back to you--said Weinstein. Although fun, anonymity can cause potential issues so Weinstein noted that there will be light moderation to ensure that negative comments do not go live, which was a major problem on the now defunct Juicy Campus college message board. "We want to have an awesome, fun and thriving stream and social experience, but it's also important to make sure our users aren't having a negative experience as a result of another's post," said the founder to Mashable.

According to The New York Times, CollegeOnly is Weinstein's third start-up geared toward college students. The young entrepreneur also created GoodCrush, a collegiate dating site, and RandomDorm, a site that pairs random college students for video conversations. SocialBeat reported that more than 25,000 students signed up for Weinstein's original sites and focus group research showed that students are indeed looking for a college-only social network.

The new start-up has already raised a total of $1.15 million from SoftBank Capital and FirstMark Capital as well as from several angel investors, including David Kidder, founder of Clickable, and Peter Thiel, a co-founder of PayPal and one of Facebook's early investors.

Right now, the site seems pretty basic, reported Mashable. Features such as text chat, video chat and geo-location will soon be added. "On CollegeOnly you can know which frat/sorority has the best parties, which class is the best or most boring, which restaurant is the most popular... and also do it in real time..." said Weinstein.

According to a press release, enrollment for the online social club will begin on September 1, 2010.


Compiled by CityTownInfo.com Staff

Sources:

"CollegeOnly, a Social Network Just for the University Set," bits.blogs.nytimes.com, August 25, 2010, Jenna Wortham

"CollegeOnly just misses Scoop on college student social networks," social.venturebeat.com, August 25, 2010, Cody Barbierri

"Facebook Investor Peter Thiel Backing Another Social Network For College Students, CollegeOnly," businessinsider.com, August 25, 2010, Nick Saint

"No Parents Allowed: College-Exclusive Social Network Launches," mashable.com, August 27, 2010, Brenna Ehrlich

"The CollegeOnly Press & Media Handbook," collegeonly.com/mediakit

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