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Image credit: PhotoAlto/Frederic Cirou via Getty Images

Instagram is testing virtual communities for college students

The platform is inviting students to join groups with students from the same university.
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PhotoAlto/Frederic Cirou via Getty Images

Facebook's pledge to "spark conversations and meaningful interactions" apparently extends to Instagram. The photo-sharing app has started testing a feature designed to bring college students going to the same university together in a virtual community. According to CNBC, the Facebook-owned company is inviting select users to join groups for their schools based on the accounts they follow, their connections and their public posts. If someone who got invited chooses to try it out, they have to opt in by choosing their university and graduating year from a set of predetermined choices.

[Image credit: CNBC]

Once they're in, they'll be able to see lists arranged by members' classes, so they can find other people from the same year. They'll also be able to see members' public Stories from within those lists. Instagram is definitely the right venue to target the demographic, considering teens aren't that fond of Facebook anymore. But the platform will have to work on the feature a bit more to make sure nobody uses it creep on users. CNBC says one of its reporters was prompted to join the community for their alma mater as a current student even though they don't go there anymore. Instagram will likely address bugs like that in the development phase before it officially releases the feature if it ever decides to do so.

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