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You Can Now Hail An Uber From Facebook Messenger

You Can Now Hail An Uber From Facebook Messenger
[Screenshots: via Facebook]

Facebook users who flock to Messenger to make plans with their friends can now hitch a ride to meetups without leaving the app. This week, the social network rolled out an update to its Messenger app that lets users request an Uber from within a message thread.

The new functionality is part of an ongoing effort at Facebook to encourage using Messenger for more than just conversations with friends: The company recently introduced a chat-based digital assistant called Facebook M that is largely intended, it seems, to help people make purchases on the platform.

Neither Facebook nor Uber would describe the financial terms of the partnership, but Emil Michael, Uber’s SVP of business, explained to BuzzFeed News that the company wants to go deeper than just basic integration:

What we’re trying to innovate on with Facebook is making transportation a social experience . . . Eventually you might see people’s ETAs displayed to everyone in the chat group, so everyone knows when the others are getting to the restaurant. You may see chats with the driver embedded in a message, so that Messenger thread becomes an app experience.

Both Slack and Chinese messaging app WeChat already offer ride-hailing functionality. The former added slash commands for Uber rival Lyft last month–which allows users to order a ride from Slack–while Uber similarly made inroads into the enterprise space earlier this week through an integration with Hipchat.

[via BuzzFeed News]