Reporting on pedestrian life in the D.C. area

Zipcar now lets you reserve cars through Facebook

October 18, 2011 - 12:20 PM
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How easy. (Photo: Facebook)

All right, this is unintentionally becoming Zipcar week here at On Foot. I've talked about a Zipster's lament over the recently lost spaces as well as how the world's bicyclists have begun reacting to Zipcar's national fall advertising campaign. Neither of these bits of news was particularly great for Zipcar — though as the world's biggest car-sharing company and leader in D.C., I doubt they're too worried about anything.

Yet I will share some good Zipcar news. Yes, the company does have one new announcement. You can officially reserve a Zipcar directly through Facebook now, the application released this morning in public beta test. Isn't technology wonderful?

You don't even have to leave your Facebook chatting, photo-stalking, and poking in order to reserve a car, and even if you're not a member, you "can still use the application to find car locations or join Zipcar," according to the company's press release. Chairman and CEO Scott Griffith notes in that same release a statistic that shows just how constantly plugged in Zipsters (and most of us, really) are at all times: "Zipcar member surveys have shown that more than 88 percent of our members are Facebook users and the typical user spends over 15 hours on Facebook per month."

Facebook has more than 800 million active users in 2011 and what Zipcar's doing is truly smart, if not surprising. The move will help Zipcar tap younger drivers out there, which it's already trying to do with its new two-year partnership with Ford that focuses on university campuses. And why shouldn't students and other young people join? It's not like they can easily and without penalties rent a car in any standard way until they're 25 years old. Zipcar has a new target demographic and it's finding a brilliant and simple way to make themselves visible and accessible to them. Zipcar will, as a result of this tool, immediately have a vehicle to increase the Facebook likes on its own Facebook page due to the prompts to "like" Zipcar if you want to see and reserve spaces via the social networking site. Any Zipcar news and promotion will reach young students all the quicker now. More than 800 million people use Facebook apps every month, so it only makes sense for a car-sharing company to join the fun.

See what you think, D.C. Zipsters. The "Reserve a Zipcar" Facebook app is live now. Just imagine all you can now do on the Internet now without even leaving Mark Zuckerberg's domain.

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