Uber announced a partnership with Facebook on Wednesday that would allow customers to use the Facebook Messenger app to book their next ride.
The latest update of Messenger includes an Uber button, so Facebook users can hail a ride without leaving the Messenger app.
Uber has, for a few years now, made it easy to get a ride: Open your smartphone, click on the app and someone picks you up. Now, Uber wants that experience to be more social, something you can share with the person you're meeting for dinner or a movie.
Enter the Social Network. Facebook suddenly offers a much bigger potential audience of riders, who can use the app not only to get a lift, but to pay for it and rate the driver as well – just like with the Uber app.
The new button, reading "Request a Ride," pops up when a user taps an address; there's also an icon for the service in a message's toolbar. And Uber will message users ride updates as well.
Theoretically, when you're on your way to meet someone you can let them know, via Messenger, when to jump into their own Uber to meet you.
Is there a benefit to this for riders? Possibly, says Rahul Bijor of Uber. "Today, in partnership with Facebook, we're bringing you and your friends closer together right where you are: on Messenger."
U.S. & World
Uber and its ride-sharing rivals have already changed the way many of us get from place to place. Now the company wants your riding experience to be more social.
Scott tracks Uber on Twitter: @scottbudman