Science & technology
Facebook and Uber talk integration
Publish Date: Jul 25, 2014
newvision
  • mail
  • img

MARK Zuckerberg must be looking to Asia for inspiration for the kind of platform Facebook Messenger could become.

Here's one idea: An integration with popular car-hailing service Uber that would be beneficial to both companies and, presumably, their users.

Such a deal could be a first step in Facebook's goal of turning the Messenger app into more than a communications tool, but also an e-commerce platform modeled in part after Asian competitors WeChat and Line.

That's why Zuckerberg has held preliminary talks with Uber CEO Travis Kalanick about potentially embedding the service into the Facebook Messenger app, according to sources who have been briefed on the discussions.

"It's very conceptual, and nowhere near execution," said one person with knowledge of the situation. "But it's a direction that Messenger has to go in."

Facebook and Uber representatives declined to comment.

So, how does Uber fit in? In its most popular markets, customers use it weekly or even daily. Given that, the idea is that integrating a service with frequent usage will help propel Messenger's use itself. 

In China, for example, users of WeChat can hail a taxi through the app via an integration with a taxi-ordering service called Didi Dache.

A similar tie-up between Facebook and Uber could make sense for both sides. Facebook would add a new service that could also potentially help it get more customer payment information on file to build a base of payment credentials for future e-commerce initiatives or money-transfer products. 

Facebook announced last week that it was testing a "buy" button that would allow users to buy products through an ad or company post.

At the same time, a Facebook partnership would give Uber access to millions of potential new customers — Zuckerberg said in April that Messenger had 200 million monthly users. And it wouldn't be the first integration of its kind for Uber.

In May, the company announced a partnership with Google Maps. Still, it's not clear what it would take to encourage new customers to continue to order through Messenger instead of the Uber app itself.

Facebook recently hired PayPal President David Marcus to run its Messenger service and help decide how it should eventually make money from the app.

On yesterday's earnings call, Zuckerberg cautioned that Facebook will take its time and not pursue a "cheap and easy approach" to generating revenue from Messenger.

Related stories

Facebook to launch e-money transfer service

Facebook manipulated users emotions in secret study

Facebook slings new photo/video messaging app

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Profit squeezed at Sweden
Swedish telecoms equipment maker Ericsson reported a decline in net profit in the third quarter despite an increase in sales, boosted by business in emerging markets....
Microsoft drops Nokia name from smartphones
Microsoft said it was dropping the Nokia name from its Lumia smartphones, rebranding following the acquisition earlier this year of the Finnish group's handset division....
$100 mn Ebola pledge from Microsoft co-founder Allen
Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul Allen said he was boosting his donations to combat the Ebola outbreak in West Africa to $100 million....
Toyota shares rise on record profit report
Shares in Japanese auto giant Toyota advanced in Tokyo trade on Friday following a report it is set to book a record operating profit in the six-month period to September....
Lufthansa close to deal with IBM for IT infrastructure unit
German airline Lufthansa is close to a deal to sell its IT infrastructure unit to IBM, including an outsourcing agreement for the services, as part of a shake-up of its technology activities, it said on Wednesday....
Google launches new email service dubbed
Google has launched an email service called "Inbox" on Wednesday that will better organize emails and display information such as appointments, flight bookings and package deliveries in a more user-friendly way....
Should diplomatic passports issued to ex-govt workers be with drawn?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter