How to Hail an Uber or Lyft Using Facebook Messenger

Now You Can Order a Car Without Leaving the App

Order a car from Facebook Messenger
You can now order an Uber or Lyft right in the Facebook Messenger app. Getty Images / Lane Oatey / Blue Jean Images

Messaging apps: Not just for chatting anymore.

While messaging applications were originally developed to enable communication between individuals and groups of people, they are becoming hubs for all kinds of activity. It won’t be long before you can use your favorite messaging app to make dinner reservations, pay your utility bills, or order your coffee. A few companies have quickly jumped on the bandwagon since Facebook opened its Messaging platform to third party developers in April of 2016, including ride-sharing providers Uber and Lyft.

 

While it may seem odd to be able to call a car directly from Facebook Messenger, there are several reasons why it makes sense. For one, it gives you another reason to use the app — in Facebook’s ideal world you’d have one of their products open all day, every day — the more features and functions that can be packed into a given application, the more time people will spend using it. The context also makes sense given that Facebook Messenger is frequently used to make plans with friends and family. Imagine a friend sending you the name and address of a restaurant to meet at. No longer do you need to open a separate app to call a car to get to the meeting location — you can simply tap a few options and a ride will be on its way.

Of course, there’s a few caveats.

Hailing rides through Facebook Messenger is a relatively new feature — Uber launched in December of 2015, and Lyft followed in March of 2016.

In order to use the latest features, make sure that you have the most recent version of Messenger installed on your mobile phone. And speaking of mobile — since your driver will need your location to find you, the ride-hailing feature is only available on your phone which can provide that data through GPS.

And lastly, service is currently only available in select locations in the United States. If you are looking for transportation within a major U.S. city, such as San Francisco, Austin, or New York, you will more than likely have access. Below is a step-by-step guide that you can use to see if the feature is live in your area, and if so, how to use it.

How to hail a car in Facebook Messenger. 

  1. Update Facebook Messenger to ensure that you have the latest version
  2. Open Facebook Messenger
  3. Click into any existing conversation thread. At the bottom of the conversation, you’ll see a row of icons. Tap on the icon that looks like three dots. A new menu will appear which contains the “Request a Ride” option. Tap it.
  4. If Lyft, or Uber, or both are available in your area, you will see the name of the company appear, along with an estimated arrival time to your location.
  5. Tap on the company that you’d like to order a car from
  6. Follow the prompts to sign-in, or register if you don’t yet have an account
  7. Alternately, you can also search for the ride-share company of your choice in the search bar within Messenger. Once your selection appears, tapping on it will open a chat window where you can tap on "Request a Ride," or tap on the car icon in the bottom navigation. Follow the prompts to sign-in or register.
  1. Tip: There are often “new customer” deals that you can take advantage of if you are registering for the first time. So you could score a credit or even a free ride!
  2. Tip: Since the ride-sharing feature is new, specific directions for using it may change over time. Keep an eye on this Facebook help page for updates. 

What else can you do?

When you hail a car through Facebook Messenger, you can pretty much do anything that you could do within the ride-share company’s own app, but without the need to leave Messenger. The functionality includes being able to set up a new account, call your driver, track your car, and pay for your ride.

The integration of ride-sharing into Facebook Messenger makes it easy and convenient to hail, track, and pay for a ride without ever leaving the application. This is an example of one of the many services that we can expect to emerge in messaging apps as they continue to evolve and mature. In the meantime, enjoy your ride!

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