Coming as a Christmas gift, Facebook has launched a new feature where people in the US can use Facebook Messenger to book an Uber cab and simultaneously alert their friends in a chat thread.
The new feature can be found by clicking on the car icon or finding "Transportation" in the "more" menu below where you write your messages on the social networking site, Tech Crunch reported on Thursday. Either of those actions will open Uber's "Request Ride" option where you can add your pick up location, destination and choose the car.
"We are just getting people used to the idea that you can message more than just people on Messenger," Seth Rosenberg, Facebook product manager, was quoted as saying in a post. Everyone who books a cab via Messenger "Transportation" would get a $20 Uber credit.
Earlier, WeChat, a messaging and calling app, allowed users to book cars in China. Facebook, however, claims that their move was not inspired by WeChat. "For us, we are more inspired by how we see our users using Messenger and we just saw the growing popularity of group chats and this is one of the best use cases of why Messenger's so great," Rosenberg added.
Meanwhile, Uber also plans to use Messenger as a test case for real-time customer service "We will start testing live support through Messenger to find out if this is the best way to start using real-time support through this," Rahul Bijor, Uber's head of API and strategic partnerships, was quoted as saying. The new feature would likely be available in the US by Christmas.