Facebook helps students 'bypass the bookstore'

When I chatted with the Facebook Director of Marketing in October, my impression was that Facebook is confidently pursuing its stand alone social media opportunities regardless of external “noise

UPDATE Facebook isn't for sale, board member Peter Thiel said: "It's going to remain an independent company. The plan is to actually build it, maybe at some point take it public, but definitely not to sell it,'' according to Bloomberg reports.

12/14/06: I chatted with Melanie Dietch, Facebook Director of Marketing, in October (see “Facebook talks ‘The Real Deal’ in exclusive interview”).

While not “face to face,” my discussion by phone was informative and left me with the impression that Facebook is confidently pursuing its stand alone social media opportunities regardless of external “noise” about “rumored” acquisition offers.

Such is still the case. Facebook has been steadily, and still confidently, rolling out enhancements to Facebook aimed at encouraging Facebooker engagement.

Facebook Firefox Toolbar

For those of you that experience Facebook withdrawal symptoms every time you start browsing other web sites, we built a new toolbar for Firefox. The Facebook Toolbar enables you to quickly access Facebook even if you're not on the site.The toolbar gives you control over a set of pop-up notifications about incoming messages, pokes, friend requests, as well as when a friend writes on your wall, writes a note, or updates his or her status.

Facebook Holiday Center

Did you forget to thank your friend for letting you crash for two weeks while you were “passing through town” last month? Or for helping you move that ridiculously heavy couch out of storage? Or are you just feeling thankful in general? Poking someone or posting on their wall is a great way to say “hi,” but sometimes you just need to say “thanks.”

Facebook has launched its Holiday Center, where you can send the friends you're thankful for a personalized thank-you. These thank-you messages are similar to wall posts, except that they live within the Facebook Holiday Center—this means when you visit the Holiday Center, you can see who has thanked you and who all your friends have thanked.

Entrepreneurial students are also taking advantage of the Facebook Development Platform API to leverage the Facebooker user base and jump start their own businesses.

BooksOnCampus.com wants Facebookers to “Bypass the Bookstore” and buy and sell used textbooks through their “Books on Campus Login via Facebook” service.

The Books on Campus Value Proposition

We got sick of selling our $100 textbooks to the bookstore for $10, so we created BooksOnCampus.com, a free on-campus textbook exchange. Here are some of the advantages:

Buy your books at an average of 52% off,
Sell your textbooks for three times more,
Avoid shipping costs and hassles,
Support other students instead of the evil bookstore/middleman.

Books on Campus explains how it works:

1) Mike lists a book,
2) Jane buys it,
3) Mike and Jane meet on campus and trade book for cash.

Books On Campus is the creation of Brandeis University students Mark Kantor and Tim Suzman.

Kantor proudly told The Setonian:

The sale of textbooks is a $2 billion industry in this country. All the money saved on buying used books could be spent elsewhere—making education more affordable to students.

TAKE THE POLL: Facebook: Sale, or no sale?