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College-Only Social Network Debuts in the Ivy League

Josh Weinstein, a 2009 graduate of Princeton University, remembers waiting eagerly for his official college e-mail address the summer before freshman year. An address ending in .edu would give him access to Facebook, an online social network that only college students could join.

Oh, how times have changed.

Everyone and their mothers, and fathers, are on Facebook. But Mr. Weinstein hasn’t given up hope: He’s created a Web site where students can post messages, pictures, and events away from the prying eyes of parents and professors. The site, CollegeOnly, went up on Wednesday, and right now students from Cornell, Princeton, and Yale Universities can sign up. Those colleges were among the campuses where Mr. Weinstein’s other creations—GoodCrush, an online matchmaking service, and RandomDorm, a college-only version of Chatroulette—were especially popular. Mr. Weinstein and his team plan to expand CollegeOnly to several other campuses, including Dartmouth College and Duke University, in the next few weeks, he said.

CollegeOnly isn’t the only new venture that aims to create a more private online social network for undergraduates. This spring, four students at New York University began working on Diaspora, a network that intends to give its users more control over what they share. Unlike CollegeOnly, Diaspora will not require its users to be college students.

Don’t expect either of these projects to steal Facebook’s star power any time soon, though. The Silicon Valley behemoth has gotten so big that even Hollywood wants a piece of it. October will see the release of The Social Network, a movie about Facebook and its founder, Mark Zuckerberg.

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