CNN recently published an article on Snapchat’s new feature that allows users to schedule rides through Uber. Snapchat has drawn some sharp criticism for this new move in that Facebook has already employed this technology in its Messenger function. Facebook users can book Uber rides and make reservations through OpenTable while using Messenger. The tables have turned a bit in this regard because Facebook has been previously accused of stealing concepts from Snapchat and passing them off as their own. Snapchat is often portrayed as the more innovative and cutting-edge counterpart to Snapchat, but their launch of this new technology can hardly be heralded as ground-breaking.
Snapchat is implementing this reservation-making technology through Context Cards, which allow reservations to be made when a restaurant or location is tagged in a post. In addition to booking a ride to the restaurant, Snapchat users can also immediately make dining reservations with the swipe of a finger. For example, if your friends post that they are currently eating at a new bar in town, you can click on that post to see if the location is tagged and find out all of your options on how to get there. This might make Snapchat users more likely to actually meet up with friends by reducing the number of steps they would have to take to plan to get there. The catch is that the restaurant would have to be participating with OpenTable, which still excludes a large amount of smaller venues.
While Snapchat users might be excited about the extra convenience being offered through the app, Snapchat is more focused on impressing investors and Wall Street. Ever since the company went public this past spring, it has been having a difficult time showing that it will continue to be able to increase its market share by attracting new users. By the second half of the year, Snapchat’s losses came in at a staggering $443 million.
It remains to be seen whether this new feature will be able to stem the bleeding that Snapchat has been struggling with for about six months now. One of the questions that investors are starting to ask is whether there will be any revenue sharing arrangements made with the reservation companies now accessible through the app. Snapchat representatives have declined to comment about this so far and appear content to stick with advertising the new features to current users.