Uber adds more features to entertain you during rides. Over the holidays, Uber had an epiphany after safely delivering their one billionth passenger to the inputted destination – people are spending quite a lot of time in their vehicles, so, why not help them get things done or at least make the trip more enjoyable.
Called Trip Experiences, it allows third-party app developers to send content and notifications to passengers, only after they have given their permission, notes Uber in a blog post on Tuesday.
This is the biggest update to the company’s app program interface since they released, back in March, the Ride Request service.
Trip Experiences offers music playlists that are exactly timed for the length of your ride, short and sweet news update on the subject you choose, honest reviews for the restaurant or pub you’re about to arrive to, and even reminders so you turn on the heat to the apartment while you’re riding towards home – the latter is so upper-middle class.
Given that Uber has been recently valued at $62.5 billion, it makes sense that the company is trying to expand in other sectors, beyond global car service. Considering that Uber is facing tough competition from Lyft, and other ride-hailing companies around the world, it’s looking to bring features that competitors don’t have.
Uber has even tested package and food delivery in some cities across the U.S. and is currently working on developing new technology that goes deep into Asimovian territory – like self-driving vehicles.
Uber wants to begin integrating a lot of third-party apps. The company has noted their deals with Facebook’s Messenger, StubHub and United Airlines, adding that they will introduce other big brands in 2016 that will make the ride more enjoyable, and productive.
While the company markets Trip Experiences as a great entertainment feature, we notice that this is a huge opportunity for advertisers to capitalize on a sort-of captive market.
It’s great that it’s an opt-in feature as Uber will not alienate their user base by monetizing it. Even Uber is aware of this issue, and understands that passengers may be irritated because ads will target them, so that’s why users can’t turn off the feature at any time they want.
The announcement of Trip Experiences coincide with the company’s first hackathon event in Bangalore, India, where Uber has solicited developers to bring new ideas to integrate within their app program interface.
Uber is driving away from the norm, as Twitter and Facebook have quite shattered their relationships with third-party devs in the past few years.
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