Mobile Commerce

Taxis Just The Beginning? Uber Preparing Public API

Preparing to leverage its success in the taxicab arena, Uber is preparing a public API that would allow developers to throw a similar “request button” on an unlimited number of apps, TechCrunch reported Tuesday (Aug. 12).

The story points out that this isn’t Uber’s first move away from the taxi stand. It already has an expense report billing deal with Concur and, according to Re/code, it’s in discussions with Facebook about being integrated into Messenger.

“The extent of its openness is appearing as a pedestrian and public transportation option inside Google Maps to people who’ve already downloaded Uber. The ‘Get An Uber’ button shows the travel time and distance, and a single tap fast-switches you to Uber with your destination pre-loaded,” the TechCrunch piece reported. “This is smart of Uber and a win-win (because) Google Ventures is a huge stakeholder in the transportation startup. It subtly reminds people that walking and public transit are slower and more arduous than a private driver. Uber is an impulse purchase. A quick tap can cost you $20. Uber just needs you to surrender to luxury and tap the button. Hence, the more buttons, the more taps, the more money it makes and the stronger its coverage gets. That’s why an Uber API makes so much sense.”

Company officials would only tell the publication “a new way for third-party apps to integrate Uber is coming in the next month, though they didn’t have more details on exactly how it will work.”

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