Uber adds in-app messaging between riders and drivers

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There exists to the option to use each other's phone numbers for a text or call, but this will come up as an unknown number for either recipient and could go unanswered. Both the driver and the rider will receive receipts of their transaction as well.

Uber on Thursday introduced an in-app chat feature, which will be rolling out globally for riders and drivers over the "coming weeks". And the calling feature could lead to awkward conversations while riders and drivers tried to locate one another. Now, before your ride arrives, you can chat your driver a specific location where you are or let them know how to spot you among the crowd without exiting the app. But these texts can sometimes lack context - is this random number my driver? Go to the Uber feed and tap "contact", then select "chat". "And then in other emerging markets where we do offer SMS, we don't have the technology in place to anonymize the personal contact info, so the rider and driver are actually sharing their personal contact information in some of those markets". VoIP calls could come to the app next, and messaging could also be added to UberEATS. Received messages will actually be read aloud to drivers, and to help with distractions, they can acknowledge a message by tapping a "thumbs up" emoji response.

"Every great ride starts with the pick-up", Uber's Jeremy Lermitte wrote in a blog post on the new feature. Seeing as this is most likely for convenience and privacy, it's likely that's not going to be the case. Tell us what you think in the comments.

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Lermitte also revealed that Uber users, both riders and drivers, want to know if their messages are actually being read.

Lastly, the feature is expected to be a way to make it easier for global travelers to contact Uber drivers. Nevertheless, Uber is trying to fix the nuisance with a new in-app chat feature. On landing, I connected my phone to the Charles de Gaulle airport Wi-Fi network, specifically so we could call for an Uber ride. It's a faster and cheaper experience with no toggling between Uber and other messaging/calls and no voice call or SMS costs.

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