The Uber API is here, and it’s about to make it’s way into all of your favorite apps, and that’s a very, very, good thing. The concept of the Uber “button” is radically different than other buttons in that it helps connect digital to physical. Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest all have buttons embedded across the Internet to help engage with and distribute content. Amazon provides ways to add items to a shopping cart, that you can later purchase, and start bridging physical “goods” to a digital button. Uber now, is providing millions of people, a button to call a cab. Now, this isn’t so different than it’s current app. Tap a button, get a ride.
The next phase is to add this on-demand button to hundreds and thousands of services that you already use, mixed in with contextual scenarios, and the Uber button becomes a tool to help accomplish a task that wasn’t available before. If you have a restaurant reservation on OpenTable, you can call a ride to take you to dinner. Have a flight booked? Call an Uber from the app that has your boarding pass to take you to the airport.
With the added benefit of getting Uber in front of millions of new users, it helps provide additional value to an app using the APi. Imagine how much more useful if an app like Foursquare, which I use to save venues I want to go to all over the world, integrates the button so when I visit, say New York or Taipei, I can pull up my list on Foursquare, tap to call an Uber, and literally go to these places without having to worry about renting a car, looking up addresses, plugging them into maps, find parking, etc… Have a Facebook (note: 1+ billion users) event invitation to a birthday party? I can take an Uber from the event page, which has time and location of the event.
And it’s just the beginning. These are just a few scenarios for transportation. When Uber launches into the biggest logistics company in the world, it’ll only become much more useful and powerful. Expect big things to happen, especially at the rate they’re building.