Uber is not just expanding geographically but via technology, too.
As reported by TechCrunch on Wednesday (Dec. 2), the company is seeking to take over the mobile app landscape with a new Ride Request Button.
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Through the button, which launched Wednesday, developers working across both iOS and Android can configure their own apps to include a button that deep-links to the Uber app. The site noted that in exchange for the business generated by this cross-pollination, the ride-hailing firm will pay the developer $5 per each new rider. TechCrunch reported that, previously, developers had to build custom integrations with Uber.
However, there is a catch, said TechCrunch, as the move to integrate Uber into new apps forbids the same developers from linking with any Uber competitors, such as Lyft.
In reference to an example, TechCrunch said that a restaurant app could conceivably place the car service’s Request Ride button alongside addresses of establishments shown by that app.
The developers themselves can put technology in place to help speed up the request once the button is pushed — showing, for example, a pickup location or what type of Uber a passenger desires.
Uber, for its part, told TechCrunch that the policy exists to make a “consistent Uber experience in other apps.” Yet, noted the site, the policy also preempts peers from getting enmeshed in apps created or tweaked by developers, especially if they have yet to launch their own API. The more partners that Uber loads up with its button, the more effectively it blocks peers from competing, at least in the button arena. With the bid to bring its button to prominent use among other services, the initiative may be enough, according to TechCrunch, to get both new and old customers flocking to the ubiquitous car service as a continuation of activities they already undertake.