Uber wants to turn its application into a content marketplace over the coming days. The company is planning to feature content segregated into different categories with dozens of third-parties lending a hand. The plan here is get users interested in the Uber application beyond merely hailing cabs and rating drivers.
The news comes from TechCrunch, which claims to have seen documents associated with the move. Apparently, the marketplace Uber is envisioning, will be based upon a version of Trip Experiences. In case you are unaware of it, the company launched Trip Experiences a year ago with a select group of partners.
So here is what will happen: As soon as a user will get into his ride, the Uber app will start featuring a bunch of cards from third parties. The cards will provide users with a range of information covering various topics, including info about the place where they might be going. The cards will also provide you with entertainment and productivity based integrations as well. The marketplace could make an appearance as early as April.
What’s more, Uber does not plan to either charge developers or include advertising in the field. However, that isn’t really saying much. The company could well be attempting to build traction around the new feature before it starts making a profit out of it. And that will include getting developers as well as customers interested in the feed.
The feed will also have app galleries that will allow users to discover new services and apps. So that is definitely a scope for money generation right there. The company could also allow third-party applications to submit content to the feed — for instance, apps could show stuff like temperature and to-do list while they are going to a particular destination. Also, users could unlock specific content or features on apps while they are on Uber.
We have already seen the company experiment with this. If you remember, riding Uber unlocked special Snapchat filters that were not available anywhere else. So more of that could take place. There are other possibilities as well. Like Instagram searches associated with the place you are going to, news highlights if any, traffic conditions and so on.
The company is also said to be working on improving the experience for drivers by allowing developers to create services for them as well.
Meanwhile, all this effort will have two distinct advantages. One, the average commute time in the US is 19 hours per month. Should Uber be able to leverage an important portion of ths time, it might just be able to get into the top ranks of the most used apps list. Facebook and Spotify currently hold that distinction with around 21 hours of usage every month.
Secondly, it will give Uber additional revenue streams besides making its application something consumers might want to open and flick through even when they are not actively riding or waiting for their rides. All this would of course, additionally serve to give the company an edge over its competitors as an increasing familiarity with the app could tip the scales in Uber’s favor for people that have multiple ride-hailing apps installed on their smartphones.
A bibliophile and a business enthusiast.