Uber is looking to move past its spat with Lyft with the announcement of the company’s expansion into multiple third-party apps. Need to hail an Uber ride from your local Starbucks? Yeah, Starbucks is updating its app with the integration. Stuck on the other side of San Francisco from your TripAdvisor recommended hotel? Same story. TripAdvisor is rolling out its integration.
The company’s policy has been to rush into locales and ask permission later. Now it is going the API route to get on your other favorite apps. Even United Airlines and OpenTable are jumping onto the Uber bandwagon. The company is releasing its API to integrate with whatever app makes sense.
Uber is on a tear to expand, and recently hired famed Obama campaign chief, David Plouffe to battle regulators and shape public perception. This is the guy that took a one-term U.S. Senator to the White House with relative ease. If I was a Taxi Cab lobbyist, I would start dusting off my resume.
The new development platform for Uber is its latest move to rapidly expand the company. It can get its cars there geographically, now it wants to be sure you can easily order a ride. Get reservations via OpenTable, and arrange for your ride all without having to open multiple apps.
From the company, they hope the API push opens their car-sharing service up to the biggest apps, to the yet undiscovered ones being developed in home offices and dorm rooms across the country.
It also makes sense from a strategic point of view. Uber has had no issues garnering traction in the States and Europe, but as it looks towards China, it will need a stepping stone. It can’t just show up and announce it has arrived. There are already regional startups grabbing market share. However, being linked via Starbucks and other apps could give it the momentum to push into other lucrative markets.
Now, if it can shake its penchant for childish behavior with competitor Lyft, the company can continue to earn its sky-high valuation. One would expect David Plouffe to put the company on a more measured PR path.