Toyota partners with to develop private social network

Andross Moonah - CAP staff
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Social networking websites have been around for only a few years now and in that time they've become very popular amongst individuals interested in connecting with old and new contacts. These networks are great for keeping up to date with friends in a quick and easy manner and many users are devoted to, if not obsessed with such services.

Toyota Motor Company (TMC) is aware of this and has partnered with to develop a private social network for Toyota customers that will be called Toyota Friend. This is a pioneering move and may give way to other such networks from Toyota's watchful competition.

Salesforce Chatter, a subsidiary service of, will power Toyota's private social network and is already being used by other businesses. Toyota Friend will be available first in Japan on electric vehicles (EV) and plug-in hybrids (PHV) and is expected to arrive in 2012.

"Toyota and share a vision to take the auto industry into the future. Social and mobile technologies will transform the car ownership experience, and we are excited to be Toyota's partner in this transformation," said CEO Marc Benioff.

Toyota Friend will be used to connect Toyota customers to their vehicles, dealership, and also with Toyota itself. The private social network will benefit Toyota customers by sending them maintenance tips, and other service information such as an alert that the vehicle is running low on fuel, for example. For this reason, it's expected that Toyota Friend will enhance the ownership experience for Toyota customers.

"Social networking services are transforming human interaction and modes of communication. The automobile needs to evolve in step with that transformation. I am always calling for Toyota to make ever-better cars. The alliance that we announce today is an important step forward in achieving that goal." said TMC President Akio Toyoda.

The most popular social networks have gained their popularity because they are free to use and are available to a vast majority of the public. In contrast, Toyota is preparing to launch just the opposite in 2012; a social network that's private and only available to Toyota customers. Nonetheless, Toyota Friend will offer a useful service to Toyota customers and seeing as so many people are well acquainted with social networks, it's likely that Toyota Friend will be well received by customers when it debuts later next year.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Toyota, Toyota Friend,

Organizations: Toyota,

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