-- Facebook is building more value into its popular Messenger app with a new feature that will allow users to summon an Uber ride without ever having to leave the app.
With Uber as its first partner, Facebook product manager Seth Rosenberg said the service is being tested with select users in domestic markets where Uber operates before it is eventually rolled out to the more than 700 million people who use Messenger.
"With this new feature, you can request a ride from a car service without ever needing to download an extra app or leave a conversation," Rosenberg said in a blog post. "It's super easy and doesn't take you away from the plans that you’re making with your friends or family."
After downloading the latest version of Messenger, users can then tap the "more" menu in a conversation and choose "transportation." Another option is to search directly for Uber and tap the car icon to summon a ride. Messenger will send along the driver's status updates and includes the option to notify your friends your ride is en route.
Daniel Ives, managing director of the technology, media and telecom research group at FBR Capital Markets, told ABC News the move adds value for both companies since Uber is able to tap into Facebook Messenger's strong user base while Facebook is able to build Messenger into more than just a communications app.
"This is about cross pollination of both customer bases which makes much strategic sense in today's tech landscape," he said. "These are two of the golden technology brands for consumers getting together and it's a partnership that makes a ton of sense for cross selling into the consumer."
Facebook Messenger also has a feature that lets users send friends money and Messenger for businesses, allowing companies who have the feature to chat privately with their customers and send them personal updates on their orders.