Picture Credit: Viktor Avdeev
WhatsApp is an extremely important form of communication in our digital age, and it’s trusted by millions of people around the world. In India alone, almost 500 million people use it to send and receive messages.
Uber has decided to collaborate with WhatsApp to allow users to book a taxi straight through the WhatsApp application. The two tech giants agreed last Thursday to launch an ambitious merge of these two platforms into the WhatsApp app, and it will first be tried in India.
The service will first be available in the town of Lucknow before expanding into other Indian cities. Nandini Maheshwari, Senior Director of business development for Uber commented, “We want to make it easy as possible for all Indians to take an Uber trip, and to do what we need to meet them on platforms they are comfortable with”.
Uber commented that users will have access to the "same safety features and insurance protections as those who book trips via the Uber app directly”, such as the ability to talk to the driver anonymously or acquiring a taxi’s license plate at the time of booking. Abhijit Bose, the head of WhatsApp India commented, “The Uber experience on WhatsApp is simple, familiar, and relatable for users and has the potential to accelerate adoption of Uber with a new category of riders in India".
This isn’t the first time that Uber has tested ambitious new ideas in India. In 2015 they started testing the allowance of cash payments in the city of Hyderabad, an option which is now available in many other regions of the world.
Even though this will allow Uber to tap into a customer base of 500 million WhatsApp users, it still runs the potential risk for their main Uber application becoming redundant. However, despite that risk, the ability to open your service to half a billion people instantly is not a chance that any company should pass up on.
December 03rd 2021 | 7.00 PM