| -

CHICAGO — In-market shoppers who use Cars.com can now get friend feedback on vehicles they are considering by posting these units to social networks. 

On Monday, Cars.com rolled out a new sharing tool that basically can push out potential vehicle selections through Facebook and Twitter.

Cars.com highlighted that integration with Facebook and Twitter is a natural next step in its online marketing strategy. Site officials cited a fall 2009 study by Ad-ology Research that determined 42 percent of recent vehicle purchasers said social networks influenced their decision-making process.

Research officials stressed that consumers particularly want to learn what other vehicle buyers had to say, both positive and negative.

"Before making a purchase, car buyers often turn to the people they trust most to help them with this important decision. We wanted to make it easy for shoppers to share cars of interest with their friends and family," explained Bill Swislow, Cars.com's senior vice president of product.

"With feedback from their networks, shoppers can feel even more confident the vehicle they found on Cars.com is the right match."

Before this latest enhancement, site officials noted that consumers using online communication to discuss what inventory a dealer might have was already on the rise.

"Shoppers on our site are making greater use of the sharing tools we offer, either to get a second opinion or to help friends and family with their purchase," Swislow pointed out.

"At the end of February, for example, we saw a 25 percent year-over-year increase in e-mail usage and the number of listings sent to a mobile phone," he added.