Facebook has launched a new transportation feature in the US on its popular Messenger app that lets users summon taxis and cars from players like Uber.
In fact, Uber is Facebook’s first partner. From within Messenger users can tap the more menu and choose Transportation. If they choose Uber they just tap the car icon to request a ride and will receive updates on the driver’s status and notify friends that they have called an Uber.
“With the ability to request, track and pay for a ride in Messenger, we’re making transportation as simple as sending a message,” explained Seth Rosenberg, product manager at Facebook.
This service is currently in testing and will be available to select users in the locations where Uber operates in the US. More countries and other transportation partners will be available soon.
Facebook Messenger has a ticket to ride
Facebook and Uber are offering free trips up to $20 in value for the earliest adopters of the new service.
“Powered by Uber’s API, Messenger now enables its millions of users to sign up for Uber with one tap and request a ride, all without having to leave Messenger or download the Uber app,” explained Rahul Bijor, head of Uber API and strategic partnerships.
“Ride status updates and ride receipts are delivered to a private conversation between you and Uber on Messenger, making it easy to track your Uber ride and payment history.”
The move is part of a broad set of measures revealed by Facebook at F8 aimed at making Messenger the fulcrum through which many e-commerce services from taxis to buying clothes can be easily managed.
“Technology can make all of our engagements with businesses better, and over the past year Messenger has added integrations with select retailers, household brands and hotels to make your most common and everyday business interactions more productive,” Rosenberg said.
Ordering a taxi with mobile image via Shutterstock