Uber announced the launch of a new developer feature called ‘Uber Trip Experiences’ which allows third-party developers to send customized content and notifications to riders during their trip.
Uber, which completed its billionth trip during the holidays, said in a blog post that the new feature “connects riders with their favorite apps at the start of a trip when they may have some time to spare.”
The feature could also be used as an advertising tool as well, although Uber discourages apps that spam users. Uber’s developer terms prohibit using the API to distribute unsolicited advertising or promotions.
An Uber spokesperson was quoted by The Verge as saying:
“The point of this experience to provide added value to a user not irritate them. Because we require all apps to be whitelisted with us, we will be able to ensure the user experience is a positive one.”
The content delivered to a user is based on the specific details of each ride. For example, a playlist of a user’s favorite songs could begin to play at the beginning of their journey and finish once they arrive at their destination – matching the length of their trip.
Uber provided a list of ideas for Trip Experiences that it is excited about:
Users must grant permission to an app for it to connect to their Uber app, access trip details and deliver customized content.
Users also have the ability to disable specific features on an app by app basis – removing the content they don’t find useful.
“We know that people’s time is precious and sometimes passengers just want to sit back and relax in peace,” Chris Saad, Uber’s head of product and developer platform, said. “So users will be in complete control.”
Uber says that this is the biggest update to the Uber API since the release of its Ride Request API in March 2015.
Over the past few months Uber has been working on integrating its service with as many third-party apps as possible to give it an edge over competitors.
The company recently announced a partnership with Facebook allowing users to request, view, and pay for an Uber ride in Messenger.