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The chances that two college-only social networks would launch in the same week seems pretty low. The chances that both networks would also be backed by big name investors seems even lower. But, that’s exactly what’s happened. Along with Scoop, a mobile app backed by Google CEO Eric Schmidt, CollegeOnly launched today backed by PayPal founder Peter Thiel (who’s also on the board of Facebook).
CollegeOnly has developed what it says is a photo-centric layout with dynamic, real-time content streams. Those streams appear as individual tabs with different content streams, including general comments, events, after-party and text from class.
The company also offers a few content streams stemming from its original social network, dubbed GoodCrush, where anonymous students can post messages to other students that they have crushes on. Those streams include missed connections — originating on classified ads site Craigslist.com — and the ability to post anonymous photos, which the company claims it monitors to ensure good behavior.
If you’re a sneaky parent thinking you’ll create a fake profile and keep tabs on your kids, guess again. Only valid college email addresses are able to sign-up, eliminating pesky parents, immature high school students, and even employers. If you’re a recent post-grad, while you may be able to create a profile with your college email, founder and chief executive Josh Weinstein notes that through company monitoring and student crowd-sourcing, you’ll be ousted quickly. Not even Princeton post-grad Weinstein has a profile on the network.
Interestingly, the company compares many of its features to Facebook, which isn’t surprising. The company is betting that college students are interested in having their own network and up to this point it’s right, as more than 25,000 students signed up for the company’s original networks — GoodCrush and RandomDorm. Additional surveys and focus groups have the company feeling good that students are looking for a college-only social network.
The New York City-based company, founded in 2009 as CollegeOnly, has raised $1.15 million to date from FirstMark, SoftBank, Peter Thiel, IAC/Highline VP, David Kidder, David Tisch.
VB’s research team is studying mobile user acquisition:
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