"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," reads the press release detailing the joint venture. "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 idea is that if your friend messages you that the she is looking to score some of the dopest truffles, and you excitedly message back "Dolores Park," then she can just *tap* the screen and have the option to take an Uber straight there.
Here are some of the suggested uses for the groundbreaking partnership that saves you the trouble of having to copy an address from Messenger and paste it into Uber.
- Meeting a loved one for dinner? Send them the restaurant location on Messenger, and they can request a ride there by simply tapping on the address.
- Running late for a work meeting? Share your current Uber trip with coworkers through Messenger so they know exactly when you’ll arrive.
- Picking up friends in your Uber on the way to a concert? Request in Messenger and your friends will know when to be outside to jump into the Uber.
The second suggestion is perhaps the most interesting, as it suggests a future when our coworkers will have real-time status updates of our location. No more pretending you got stuck in traffic on your way back from that client meeting, even if you only wanted a few minutes just to enjoy the beautiful day or whatever it is people do when they take extra long lunches.
The vice president for messaging products at Facebook, David Marcus, explained in an interview with the New York Times how the two companies are a natural fit.
“A lot of the plans that you are making with friends and family are happening through Messenger,” he said. “When people come together, there is always a need to request transportation,” continued Marcus, apparently oblivious to the fact that some people own cars/bicycles/bus passes/shoes.
Wired points out that for Facebook this may really be about responding to rival messaging apps like Wechat, as many already have functionality allowing users to make purchases and hail rides.
Regardless of the reason, we'll be following the partnership of these two Silicon Valley darlings closely.