Facebook partners with Uber, takes over even more of your life

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You can’t order a pizza from Facebook yet, but you can get a ride through it.

The social-networking giant said Wednesday it partnered with Uber to build ride-hailing into its Messenger app.

Just send a friend an address in Messenger, and he or she can tap on it to call up a box that says “Request a Ride.” Users can also tap a car button inside the app to order a ride.

Users can remain in Messenger throughout the process, the companies said. New users can even sign up for Uber from within Messenger. The first ride is free up to $20, Uber said.

The move is the latest of Facebook’s efforts to expand its Messenger service beyond its instant messaging roots. Rivals like WeChat in China have parlayed their messenger apps into powerful hubs of the Internet by tying in features like payments, shopping and gaming.

Some 700 million people use Messenger at least once a month. But Facebook is looking for ways to broaden the service and keep people coming back. To that end, it’s partnering with app makers ranging from entertainment apps like Giphy to payments company Square. The company has also built new features, such as its M concierge service, to compete with rivals like Apple’s Siri and Google Now.

Uber meanwhile has also partnered with a range of services, including OpenTable, United Airlines and the Apple Watch, in efforts to make its service more easily accessible.

While Messenger only works with Uber for now, Facebook is in talks to make its service work with rival ride-sharing service Lyft starting in January, according to a person familiar with the matter. The Wall Street Journal earlier reported the partnership plans.

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