Facebook Is Back in the File-Sharing Business

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It was bound to happen at some point, but weeks before its hotly anticipated IPO, Facebook is getting back to its roots with a new Groups For Schools feature.

The portal is only open to college and university students with .edu email addresses and provides a few advanced collaboration features that appeal to classes and clubs. What's most curious about the new idea is actually that it's a very old idea: As TechCrunch's Josh Constine notes, file sharing is how Facebook started, more or less. Facebook historians will remember that Mark Zuckerberg attempted to create a file-sharing service called Wirehog back in the early days of his company, but it failed spectacularly.

With Groups for Schools. students can upload any non-copyrighted file up to 25 megabytes and post it on the School Group page. We're sure this is designed for Word documents and PDFs but you can bet an MP3 or two will make its way on to Facebook. Piracy opponents need not worry, however. Facebook says they'll be monitoring for copyrighted content illegally uploaded to their servers. Furthermore, we doubt anybody can have much fun trading files that are only 25 megabytes.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.