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Uber As…Restaurant Guide?

In a new partnership with Hilton, Uber is using its data in an unexpected way.

Uber As…Restaurant Guide?
[Photo: Flickr user tiffany terry]
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But even as the company raises bajillions of dollars and mounts an aggressive global expansion, you may not have expected it to take on the role of a mobile Zagat. Maybe you should have.

As part of a partnership with Hilton that the companies announced on Tuesday, Uber will curate restaurant and nightlife recommendations in a “Local Scene” feature that Hilton HHonors members can access through the Hilton HHoners app, picked from “top destinations that Uber riders in that city visit most.”

This is a silly marketing ploy, but it highlights a piece of Uber’s business that gets less attention than, say, its plans to replace the post office and public transportation. Google may know what you’re browsing, but Uber knows where you actually move in the physical world. Today it’s pooling that data to point out popular places, but eventually, it could use that data to target ads or to tailor promoted suggestions to every rider based on past behavior.

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About the author

Sarah Kessler is a senior writer at Fast Company, where she writes about the on-demand/gig/sharing "economies" and the future of work.

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