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Facebook Messenger to Enable Users Request an Uber Ride

Facebook, Inc.FB has added another feature to its Messenger app - Transportation on Messenger. The tech giant, in its bid to become an important part of everyday life, will now enable users to hail a cab ride directly from Messenger. It has partnered with Uber for the same.

There is no need for users to get a separate Uber app or even leave their Facebook conversation mid way. A few taps (even without leaving the conversation page) can help them get a ride. They will be provided with the details regarding arrival times and also the option to split fares per their requirement.

While it can be argued that all of this is also available through the Uber app (which is already in use by a significant number of users), Facebook Messenger makes it smarter and easier. Users can tap on the address and select 'Request a Ride' or tap the car icon to book the cab for a location while they are still a part of a conversation on Messenger.

Moreover, the other people in the conversation will automatically get a notification once a ride has been booked. Going ahead, the company plans to add more transportation partners, thereby gradually becoming a single platform for booking cabs through all major service providers. Reportedly, Facebook is also in talks with Lyft, a rival of Uber, with plans to bring it on board by Jan 2016.

In the testing phase, the service has only been made available to a select number of users in the U.S. However, the company is working on a wider rollout both in the U.S. and overseas.

Earlier, the company had made Messenger capable of making payments, connecting with businesses and making voice and video calls.

For the past few quarters, Facebook has been focusing on monetizing its platforms and diversifying revenues. We believe that like most of its initiatives, this one will also benefit from its huge user base (as per latest data, Messenger had about 700 million users). Moreover, given the fierce price-based competition in the ride hailing domain, the freebie from the company (first ride of up to $20 will be free for a limited time) is undoubtedly an attraction.

Transportation is an important segment and can become a key growth driver for the company once it gets a decent foothold.

Facebook currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Some other tech stocks worth considering include Mercadolibre, Inc. MELI , MeetMe, Inc. MEET and Synacor, Inc. SYNC . All three stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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