You can do a lot of stuff other than message your friends with WhatsApp these days. Renew your car licence, pay for some goods and even order yourself some fried chicken. Now, you can hail a ride with it, thanks to a collaboration with Uber.
Need a ride? Send a WhatsApp.
The feature is being first tested in India, in the city of Lucknow, which makes a lot of sense since that’s where WhatsApp’s biggest audience lies. Nearly half a billion people. With it, users will be able to book rides through a WhatsApp chat bot.
The Meta-Uber partnership allows users to do everything Uber-related without leaving WhatsApp. You don’t even have to download the Uber app. People can register as users, hail rides, receive trip receipts and more straight from the chat-app’s interface.
According to a statement (via CNN) the Uber experience will be, by and large, exactly the same as it would be in the main app, allowing users to anonymously correspond with drivers, view number plate and vehicle details after booking and more.
Notably, drivers won’t notice any difference when a customer books via WhatsApp as opposed to through the main app, so there’s no headache on their end either.
“We want to make it as easy as possible for all Indians to take an Uber trip, and to do that we need to meet them on platforms they are comfortable with,” said Uber senior director of business development Nandini Maheshwari in a statement.
This is a first for the ride-hailing app. As mentioned, the feature is being tested first in Lucknow, India, before expanding into other parts of India, and then the rest of the world.