Facebook has partnered with Uber to build ride-hailing into its Messenger app, as it looks to expand beyond chat app features.
Facebook has partnered with Uber to build ride-hailing into its Messenger app.
The new service works entirely within the Messeneger app, where users can send a friend an address and they can tap on it to call up a box that says “Request a Ride.” Users can also tap a car button inside the app to order a ride.
Users can remain in Messenger throughout the process, the companies said. New users can even sign up for Uber from within Messenger.
The first ride is free up to $20, Uber said.
The move is the latest of Facebook’s efforts to expand its Messenger service beyond its instant messaging roots. Rivals like WeChat in China have parlayed their messenger apps into powerful hubs of the Internet by tying in features like payments, shopping and gaming.
Facebook has some 1.5 billion users globally and Uber is the world’s biggest driver-hailing app in terms of financing.
If successful, the partnership between the firms will give Uber access to many new and potential clients – Facebook’s Messenger app has some 700 million users worldwide.
“With the ability to request, view, and pay for an Uber ride in Messenger, taking your next ride is as simple as sending a message,” Uber said on its news blog.
“You can request a ride from a car service without ever needing to download an extra app or leave a conversation,” Facebook explained.
The social media giant said the new transportation function on its Messenger app was part of its ongoing development.
“More countries and other transportation partners will be available soon,” it added.