Uber launches API to drive economy-sharing apps
Taxi service Uber has launched its long-rumoured API to integrate its real-world services into third party apps. It launches in cahoots with 11 partners including OpenTable and Starbucks to prove it can be a natural addition to certain applications. The Uber API launch could mean more for the app industry as a whole, however, rather than simply a potential boost to their own profits...
For Uber, the introduction of their API means their service gets out to lots of potential new users from some of the biggest brands in the world as well as some of the most-used applications. You can hail one of their taxis using their existing app in 150 cities in nearly 50 countries around the world.
For the app industry, it opens the doors for more services to release APIs which share their own economy to both the app's developer and their own service. "Sharing is caring" after all, right? An example of this could be real-world delivery platform 'Postmates' who could offer new options where previously unavailable.
Uber already hooked-up with certain third parties to integrate their services before making their API publicly available. Google Maps added support for Uber back in May to instantly request a driver to a location at the press of a button.
Speaking of hook-ups, dating app 'Hinge' has integrated the Uber API to allow the potential new lovebirds to get to their designated date location. There are many possibilities, and the other launch partners give you some idea of these; Expensify, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, Momento, OpenTable, Tempo, Time Out, TripAdvisor, TripCase, and United Airlines.
Across the launch partners, there is approximately 200 million people who have downloaded their respectful apps. That is 200 million potential new customers. To further entice uptake, Uber is offering new users $30 of free credit when they sign-up using one of the partners.
Whilst Uber hasn't asked any of their partners to be their exclusive ride-finding service; the company believes it is the only choice when it comes to the kind of scale required to successfully implement the potentially powerful new feature for your apps.
You can get started with the Uber API here.
Do you think Uber's API could open the door for similar services? Let us know in the comments.