Uber and Snapchat, two of Silicon Valley’s most-valuable startups, have teamed up.
Starting Wednesday, Uber users can unlock exclusive filters to use on Snapchat within the ride-hailing app. The update is part of Uber’s push to make its app more personalized and was released this week along with the ability to set a person, not an address, as your destination.
The feature is available in the feed of the Uber app after you start your ride. You can swipe between three different cards, “Your ETA,” “Your Ride” and “Mystery.” When you click on “Unlock filter,” Snapchat will automatically open if you have the app.
The most exciting filter is undoubtedly “Your ETA,” which shows the time Uber estimates it’ll take to get to your destination. It’s great if you’re the type of person whose friends doubt your timeliness. Forget about texting an estimate or draining your phone’s battery life by sharing your location. You can prove you’re in a car and on your way with a selfie.
“Whether you want to let friends know when you’ll arrive with our ETA filters, show how you roll with our ride filters or select a mystery filter for an added surprise, you now have a fun and social way to share you’re in an Uber,” Uber’s blog post reads.
For obsessive Snapchat users (like myself), it’s a fun update. After I tested out the feature this week, I enthusiastically messaged my family text group, “YAY! Guys you can now Snapchat while Ubering.” But I quickly realized that wasn’t the best description for the occasion and the audience.
“Like the drivers? That doesn’t sound safe,” my sister wrote back.
“Was Snapchat unavailable in Ubers before magically somehow?” my other sister asked.
Okay so, maybe it’s not that big of a game changer of an experience. Drivers aren’t encouraged to snap, and it’s not like you as a rider couldn’t access Snapchat previously. But as Uber wrote in a blog post, “Gone are the days of toggling between apps. Have a little extra fun getting to that someone!”
Snapchat isn’t Uber’s only friend.
Snapchat isn’t Uber’s only friend. The app also announced integrations with Yelp and Foursquare.
For Uber, the integration is not just for fun. Adding Snapchat and other content to its app makes it a more attractive service to use as competition in the ride-hailing industry increases.
“We recognize a lot of people check their phone when they’re in the car. The premise of it isn’t to keep you inside the app, it’s to deliver more. We want you to choose Uber because we’re more integrated into your life, and we’re giving you additional value,” Uber product manager Yuhki Yamashita told Mashable.
Here, Uber is not just playing a price war, but the company is after your brand loyalty.