Image from Annual Report

On Jan. 7, 2009, Mark Zuckerberg posted a message on Facebook, the social network he founded in 2004, which said:  “Today, we reached another milestone: 150 million people around the world are now actively using Facebook and almost half of them are using Facebook every day. This includes people in every continent — even Antarctica. If Facebook were a country, it would be the eighth most populated in the world, just ahead of Japan, Russia and Nigeria.”

Add WestConn to the ever-growing list of Facebook users. The university’s social networking team quietly created a Facebook page during the fall semester and officially launched it on Dec. 15, 2008. On Dec. 14, WestConn’s page had 315 “fans.” A month after the launch, the number stood at 515 — and climbing. Nine months later:  more than 1,600.

Why Facebook? An October Inside Higher Ed article sums it up: “As colleges try to adapt their more traditional outreach methods to the successive waves of students who live much of their lives online, it’s inevitable that some will start to ask whether they can marshal the ubiquity of social networking to attract applicants, connect to enrolled students and, once they graduate, keep track of them as alumni.”

WestConn has added several Twitter feeds to its online arsenal as well — the university tweets Colonial sports scores, upcoming events and general announcements.