Facebook is getting into the rideshare business. Recently, the company added a personal assistant app to their Messenger platform, which now provides users with opportunities to talk with businesses and make peer-to-peer payments as well as voice and video calling. Now, Facebook has announced a deal with popular taxi-like service Uber: the app will now allow users to find rides.
Facebook says the new program is still in its testing stage, but if all goes according to plan, users will be able to call an Uber car without leaving the Messenger application. Though the app can only be used in cities where Uber already maintains a presence, the service is popping up in more and more areas—and users won’t even need to download the Uber app. Because Facebook is so prevalent already, the partnership feels natural.
If the product works (and it’s likely that it will), Uber will have access to many new clients: the Messenger service already boasts 700 million users around the world. Facebook, of course, will see lots more money coming in. It’s rumored that the feature will also work with Lyft in January of the new year.
The app will be convenient and user-friendly. “Driver status updates and payment receipts will get delivered to a private conversation between you and Uber,” Facebook said. “With everything in one place, you can seamlessly keep track of your ride and payment history.”
“Uber is always looking for new ways to connect people with safe, reliable transportation at the push of a button,” Uber added in its own site post. “Powered by Uber’s API, Messenger now enables its millions of users to sign up for Uber with one tap and request a ride.”
When Facebook made Messenger its own app separate from the standard Facebook app, speculation swirled that there would be many new updates and programs to come. Because transportation is now one of the most social and in-demand, it makes sense that M’s first would be tapping into the market. We’ll have to wait and see what’s next.