Toyota Friend: Toyota launches its own social network


Toyota is working on its own version Facebook and Twitter… well, almost. The Japanese automaker announced today that it is building ‘Toyota Friend,’ a private social network for Toyota customers and their cars.

Powered by Salesforce Chatter and Microsoft, the private social network used by businesses, and will be offered, first in Japan, initially with Toyota’s electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles due in 2012.

Toyota FriendAs described by Toyota:

“Toyota Friend will be a private social network that connects Toyota customers with their cars, their dealership, and with Toyota. Toyota Friend will provide a variety of product and service information as well as essential maintenance tips, creating a rich car ownership experience. For example, if an EV or PHV is running low on battery power, Toyota Friend would notify the driver to re-charge in the form of a “tweet”-like alert. In addition, while Toyota Friend will be a private social network, customers can choose to extend their communication to family, friends, and others through public social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. The service will also be accessible through smart phones, tablet PCs, and other advanced mobile devices.

“Social networking services are transforming human interaction and modes of communication,” said TMC President Akio Toyoda. “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.”

– By: Omar Rana