Uber Ties Up with BBM Messenger
Uber Technologies has joined forces with BBM Messenger to allow users around the world, including in the application's biggest market of Indonesia, to book rides via the messenger service.
The partnership agreement is with Creative Media Works, operating as BBM Messenger, the company said in a statement.
"With this partnership, BBM users can quickly request an Uber ride via BBM despite variations in quality of location, network speed, or device features,” said Chan Park, Uber's general manager in Southeast Asia.
BBM is almost dead in Western markets following the decline of BlackBerry phones, but it hasn’t died altogether. Now run by Indonesian telco Emtek, BBM still maintains a decentish following in Indonesia, other parts of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
The ride-hailing company is rolling out this tie-in with BBM to allow users to book a ride from inside the chat app within the ‘discover’ menu. The feature will go live in selected countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and the Middle East, Uber said.
The agreement means that BBM Messenger users, including both Android and iOS users, can book an Uber ride without leaving the BBM app, or being required to have a stand-alone Uber app on their phone, the company said.
Creative Media works is a unit of Indonesian media group PT Elang Mahkota Teknologi Tbk. The company operates the global BBM consumer messaging and social networking platform under a license from BlackBerry Limited.
Uber's license in UK city Cambridge extended for five years
Meanwhile, the British university city of Cambridge extended Uber's operating license for five years on Monday in a boost to the taxi app which is battling to keep its cars on the road in London, its most important European market.
The decision comes a week after the northern English city of York refused to renew the Silicon Valley's license, citing a data breach and a number of complaints, in a ruling the app has until Jan. 5 to appeal.
On Monday, local officials in Cambridge, eastern England, said the U.S. firm, valued at around $70 billion, will be able to keep operating for a further five years.
"We consider Uber to be a fit and proper operator," said Councillor Gerri Bird, the chairwoman of Cambridge city council's licensing committee.
In a statement, Uber's Head of Cities for the UK Fred Jones welcomed the move.
"We're delighted people in Cambridge can continue to use Uber," he said. "For both licensed drivers and passengers in the area, the app brings more choice and control."
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