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Facebook brings Uber rides to Messenger

You could hail a car in between chats with friends.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
December 16, 2015
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In the near future, you might not have to interrupt that Facebook Messenger chat to hail a ride home. Facebook has announced Transportation on Messenger, which integrates ride-hailing services into its communications app. To no one's surprise, Uber is the first partner -- you can order a ride entirely within Messenger, and you'll get things like receipts and status updates as conversations. The transport platform is still in testing in certain parts of the US, but other areas and countries are coming soon.

The deal might be crucial to improving the bottom line for both companies. Facebook would get more users (and importantly, their payment info) returning to Messenger, which it's increasingly turning into a platform between inclusions like games and smart assistants. Meanwhile, Uber would get a leg up in places where messaging and ridesharing already mix. Its main rival in the country, Didi Dache (part of Didi Kuaidi) will get you a lift through WeChat -- Uber would have a direct equivalent that worked in many more places around the world.

[Image credit: Diane Bondareff/Invision for Mattel/AP Images]

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