One by one, Facebook Messenger partners with new services it can offer directly through its platform, enabling people to connect to the hub and use it for more than just messaging.
Facebook isn’t very subtle about its plans for conquering the internet and eventually absorbing all apps into one. Its latest feat allows users to request a Lyft ride without ever leaving the Facebook Messenger app.
The integration announced today is part of Lyft’s developer platform expanding to sign more partnerships in the near future. Using Messenger x Lyft to request a ride is all very easy; all you need to do is tap on the ‘transportation’ icon above the keyboard, select ‘Lyft,’ and then ‘ride.’
The transportation company will simply take it from there. However, not all Messenger users will see the little icon in their apps just yet. According to Lyft, the integration is scheduled to make a complete rollout across the country “in the coming weeks.”
Initiating a car-sharing ride within another app is not new; Facebook Messenger has already partnered with Uber to feature its own integration on the platform in December. Uber celebrated with a discount of $20 off the first Uber ride a user requested through Messenger, so people expect Lyft to match that offer.
With Lyft’s developer platform finally out of beta mode, the company hopes to experience a new “era of seamless ride requests.”
For instance, last fall Lyft released a Slack integration which allowed users to request a Lyft by typing some simple commands. If you need a ride, all you have to do is type “/lyft ride <pickup_address> to <dropoff_address>” in any Slack channel.
Lyft is basically playing catch-up with Uber by including the option of requesting rides abroad; the Lyft API will enable users’ access to foreign ridesharing apps, such as Ola, Didi, and Grab. On its side of the ride-hailing race, Uber has been operating outside the US for years.
Integrating their services with transit apps should also be a priority. Lyft has already taken to CityMapper, the urban public transit app, and other similar services, to have its company featured as an alternative to trains and buses.
As far as Messenger is concerned, Facebook wants to transform the platform into a standalone service that no longer depends on the social network – just like WhatsApp. It’s already done something towards that goal when it made it possible to sign up for Messenger without having a Facebook account.
Image Source: Next Impact