Sample Toyota Friend site and logo
Social media websites have outstripped legacy website, google.com, as the most visited on the internet. They take up everyone's time, connects us all, helps push social movements, and generally changes the world. Now Toyota wants in on the scene. Partnering with Salesforce.com, Toyota plans on creating a private social network for anyone with an electric or hybrid vehicle. Toyota has injected $5 million with Salesforce's $3 million, with an additional $4 million from Microsoft, into the social network venture. It will be launched in Japan, first, in 2012 under the name "Toyota Friend."
The network aims to connect people, their dealerships, their car, with Toyota. Many services, products, and service information will be offered through the site. For example, if a battery is running low, a tweet like message will be sent to the user. Toyota Friend will also be connected through other popular social media sites so the user can stay in contact with other non-EV, lesser, users. Toyota's goal is to create a rich ownership experience.
Toyota president Akio Toyoda had this to say, " 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."
Maintaining a social network website, as I said, time consuming. I would imagine adding further car maintenance, this time not even near the actual auto, would not be popular with most. But, what will we do as our EVs are charging?