Uber is aiming to turn its taxi hailing app into a so-called content marketplace, offering customers potentially a slew of content from third parties partners.
According to a report in TechCrunch, the initiative is being driven by a desire by Uber to increase engagement with its app and move beyond just offering the ability to get a ride and rate a driver. Citing documents TechCrunch was able to see, it said the marketplace will come with an updated version of Trip Experiences, a feature Uber rolled out last month with a handful of partners. With the expanded marketplace, which TechCrunch said will come out in early April, the Uber app will include third-party apps that will provide information about a specific location and an area or place a rider is going. It will also include entertainment, work productivity tools and communications with the actual place to which the rider is traveling. A source told TechCrunch Uber isn’t planning to include advertisements in its upgraded app.
TechCrunch also reported that at the start the new Trip Experiences feature will be free for developers and will also include an app gallery where users can find new apps and services and connect them with the Uber app. Other features that could come with the redesigned app include enabling contextual engagement, which may include Snapchat users getting access to special stickers or filters or highlight Instagram searches based on where the traveler is heading. The move on the part of Uber comes as an acknowledgement that it has a huge captive audience base of people who are sitting in cars as they travel wherever they are going. TechCrunch noted Uber has completed more than 2.5 billion rides, with 10 million rides every day across 70 countries and 400 cities.