Facebook has made clear that its Messenger app is and will be a lot more than just sending text messages, images, Stickers or GIFs to each other. Facebook Messenger is meant to be a tool, one that makes life easier for both businesses and end-users.
Today, Facebook is rolling out its new transportation service on Messenger, in collaboration with Uber, the first company to partner with Messenger.
Starting right now, selected users can get an Uber directly from within Facebook Messenger.
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In the latest app update, the “more” button (the ellipsis, or “3-dot” symbol) includes a new “Transportation” tab along with GIFs and location features.
If you type in an address in Messenger, a “request a ride” info box will appear in your thread. Clicking on it, or directly on the address you have typed in, will take you to a new screen where you can order a car, set a destination and follow the driver on the map.
Facebook will also let drivers communicate with users via Messenger. The service is powered by Braintree, a payment processor developed by Paypal.
Facebook said that the new feature is still in testing, and is only available to some users in the US for now. But if you’re among the lucky selected users, go test the feature: your first ride will be free (well, for a ride of up to $20).
This is an important step, taking Messenger from being a simple messaging app to being one that could be at the centre of everything we do. The next steps could be to let users book restaurant tables, buy cinema tickets, etc… What do you think of this?