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
European lawmakers back Google break-up
The European Parliament voted overwhelmingly for the break-up of Google on Thursday in a largely symbolic vote that nevertheless cast another blow in the four-year standoff between Brussels and the US Internet giant....
DNA may survive trip to suborbital space and back
DNA molecules attached to the outside of a rocket may be able survive a trip to suborbital space and back into the Earth's atmosphere at extremely high temperatures, according to a new study....
E-cigarettes have 10 times carcinogens: Japan researchers
E-cigarettes contain up to 10 times the amount of cancer-causing agents as regular tobacco, Japanese scientists said Thursday, the latest blow to an invention once heralded as less harmful than smoking....
Twitter takes note of other apps on smartphones
Twitter on Wednesday said it would begin tracking which other applications people have installed on their mobile devices in a bid to better target ads and content....
BlackBerry courts iPhone users with cash
Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry is wooing Apple customers with a cash offer for trade-ins of iPhones for its new square-screened, keyboard-equipped Passport....
Spotify turns up volume as losses fall
The world's biggest music streaming service, Spotify, announced Tuesday its revenue grew by 74 percent in 2013 while net losses shrank by one third, in a year of spectacular expansion....
Should Govt lease parts of Lake Victoria to private developers?
Its Ok
No Way
Not Sure
follow us
subscribe to our news letter