Zipcar Inc., the car-sharing network, announced on Oct. 18 a further expansion of the company's collection of social and mobile applications and services with the launch of its new “Reserve a Zipcar” Facebook application as a public beta test.

The new application is now live on Zipcar's Facebook page, and members can use it to reserve a car, check car availability, view upcoming reservations, and extend or cancel existing reservations without leaving Facebook.

The launch enables Zipcar members to test the new “Reserve a Zipcar” app on Facebook, and provide feedback directly to the car-sharing company. “Reserve a Zipcar” is available to anyone with a Facebook account. Facebook users who do not yet have a Zipcar account can still use the application to find car locations or join.

“Zipcar member surveys have shown that more than 88 percent of our members are Facebook users and the typical user spends more than 15 hours on Facebook per month,” said Zipcar Chairman and CEO Scott Griffith. “We know our members are tech-savvy and actively engaged in social media, so providing members with the ability to reserve a Zipcar directly through Facebook is a natural next step.”

Members can also use the application to view available Zipcars on a map or list-view, get directions to the vehicle location and share the details of their reservation with their Facebook friends as a status post on their wall.

In addition to this Facebook application, members can also reserve a vehicle by downloading either Zipcar's new Android application or Zipcar's iPhone application — recognized by Time Magazine as one of the “50 Best iPhone Apps in 2011” — as well as by using Zipcar's mobile website, which can be used on Blackberry devices and smartphones to make, extend or change reservations.

In addition, members can visit or call 866.4.ZIPCAR to make reservations. When a member is in a current reservation, they have access to Zipcar's interactive voice response call center, which automatically recognizes members and their reservation status and dynamically changes the options based on where members are in their reservation experience.

Zipcar also offers two-way SMS texting, allowing the company to proactively reach out to members during their reservation via their mobile device to manage their reservation, including instant reservation extension.

Zipcar has a network of more than 605,000 members and more than 9,000 vehicles in urban areas and college campuses throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. The company offers more than 30 makes and models of self-service vehicles by the hour or day to residents and businesses.