Ridesharing platforms are big. Uber is the thing to do if you’re going out on the town and don’t want to have to worry about finding parking, and Lyft is right there behind them, separated by only a few stray pink mustache hairs. Now it looks like a bigger company is going to get out there and hook people up with low-cost social taxi service. Facebook might be starting a ridesharing service.
Facebook already partners with Uber for finding rides while on Facebook Messenger, and now it looks like the company is either going to expand that offering or, according to the filing with the US Patent and Trademark Office, starting their own program. Facebook has discussed expanding ridesharing offerings, but perhaps they’ve decided it’s just in their best interest to cut out the Uber/Lyft bit out of the equation and connect riders to drivers directly.
The filing, which was put in July 2014 and kept confidential for a year as is standard procedure, adds two new options to Facebook’s ability to RSVP for things: going and driving and going and not driving. There are also options for negotiating how many passengers can be taken, price points, and for mapping out the best route. For those that use public transportation, the Facebook platform offers ways to connect with fellow riders, so you don’t have to ride alone.
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