If you use Uber, you must have experienced the creepy situation where you receive a text from an unknown number, asking for your location, while waiting for your ride. Sometimes, instead of sending you such a text, the Uber driver would simply park as close to your location as possible, then honk their horn until you show up. This is not really convenient for a lot of people, and in an effort to solve this issue, Uber has launched an in-app messaging feature on its mobile app. Now, with Uber messaging, all you need to do is select Contact, then Chat in the feed section of the Uber app. there, you can send a message to your driver about your exact location, or anything else that helps your driver locate you easier.
One other good thing about the Uber messaging feature is that your driver does not even need to text you back. The messages are read out loud to the driver, who can respond immediately with a thumbs-up emoji with one tap. Both the rider and the driver will see if their chats are delivered and read, to confirm that the other person actually received the message.
This Uber messaging feature means that riders and drivers do not have to exchange phone numbers when they need to get in touch. Already, Uber makes use of an anonymizing technology to mask your phone number when you call or text outside the app, so it shows as a random number. However, this technology is not available in emerging markets, which is what prompted Uber to build this chat system.
Uber has always aimed to provide users with the shortest and most efficient distance between two points. However, now Uber wants its users to spend more time within the app, and use it for things not directly associated with transportation. These include Snapchat filters, calendar integrations, using friends as destination locations and so on. Clearly, the company wants to turn its app into something more than just a ride-hailing app.