Published: Thu, August 10, 2017
Electronics | By Jesus Weaver

Uber launches in-app messaging for riders and drivers

Uber launches in-app messaging for riders and drivers

Previously, riders and drivers in the United States were able to text through their phones with Uber providing a layer of anonymity by showing a random phone number.

Uber has chose to simplify the pickup experience for riders and drivers so it has added a much-needed feature to its app.

"Regardless of where they are located - whether it be the Cleveland, Chennai or Cartagena - riders and drivers won't need to share their phone number with one another when they need to get in touch", Lermitte wrote.

One slightly annoying thing about Uber is that your driver sometimes has to call or text you to let you know they're arriving, held up in traffic or give you some other update about your ride.

In-app chat is rolling out globally to both riders and drivers over the coming weeks.

You no longer have to exchange texts with your Uber driver from your personal phone number. Unfortunately, there was some confusion between us and our driver about where we were to be picked up and, because I was on Wi-Fi, I couldn't call or send a follow-up text message to our driver.

On the driver's side, these will be read aloud when received, and they can then acknowledge they've seen the message with a single tap to send a "thumbs up".

When connected to a driver, a rider should go to the Uber feed and tap "contact" and then "chat". That's the reason why the Uber app's chat feature supports delivered/read statuses - something that's not widely supported with SMS messages. So we're adding a way for riders and drivers to chat right in the Uber app. That process pushes the user out of the Uber app and to the phone or a messaging app.

The built-in messaging feature makes a lot of sense when you think about it, and Lermitte says that it's something Uber can offer without requiring significant ongoing overhead to maintain.

While the messaging feature is only being rolled out to Uber's ride-sharing service at present, the company is also considering the idea of implementing it to its other businesses like UberEATS, as pointed out by TechCrunch.

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