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  • Writer's pictureBeth & Tim Manners

Instagram is like Facebook for Freshmen

Updated: Sep 18, 2019

Taylor Lorenz: “By the time many college freshmen arrive on campus this fall, they’ll have already met their roommate, their core friends, and many of their classmates on Instagram. They’re connecting through class accounts, Instagram pages set up by one or several incoming members of a college’s freshman class to help everyone meet before the school year officially starts. These accounts have names such as @penn2023_and @AUclassof2023, and they typically feature user-submitted photos and paragraph-long biographies of incoming students, often including their intended major, whether they’re looking for a roommate, and their personal Instagram handle … Many class accounts spawned Instagram group chats in which students not only find roommates, but also figure out plans for orientation, discuss rush, and debate whether or not there are good parties for freshmen.”

“Connecting college students is what Facebook was built for. Since that social network began allowing high schoolers to join in 2006, teenagers have used it to meet other incoming freshmen at college … Yet all the teenagers I spoke to said that they couldn’t imagine a Facebook version of class pages. In fact, several said they’d signed up for Facebook only in the past couple of months, so they could join the official Facebook group that their college’s admissions department created.”

Alexis Queen, who runs Harvard’s class account, comments: “I didn’t start using Facebook until I got in in December, and that was the case for my friends too … The most popular post in our admission group is just, ‘Comment your Instagram handle.’ Facebook is just an easy way to find people on Instagram.”

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