It may seem that Uber’s goal is simple: make it easier to get a ride when you need one. But while the company has remained true to this, Uber’s expansion from its simple black car service (in 2010) to UberPool, UberSUV, UberX, UberXL, UberAccess and UberBlack (and more) by 2016.
So, what has happened is that Uber may now offer too many choices that the current version of the app is bogged down. This is particularly difficult for new users of the app who do not know the difference between each of the different offerings.
“Honestly if you’re using this, you can’t even tell what is Select, what is Access. Is Access a VIP service? Well actually what it is, is a wheel chair disability service,” explains Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. “We needed a new system to deal with the growing set of features that were sort of piling up on the older design.”
As such, the company unveiled a newly revamped version of the app, on Tuesday. This new version makes getting a ride almost as simple as just pushing a button, but more importantly it may also lay the foundation for what experts say will unlock a massive new revenue stream for the company as it continues to approach the long-anticipated launch of its public stock offering.
“So many apps we use, I don’t know if it’s like Snapchat or Facebook or different messenger products or Google etc., they’re in the business of actually taking a little slice of time away from you and selling that time and selling that attention,” Kalanick goes on to say. “Uber has a more unique business model in that our job is to give time back. We want to take the most valuable resource that we have and give it back to people.”
The new app, then, will do more than just get you a ride. For example, if you are trying to meet up with a group for a night out, the app can search your contacts for the name of a particular friend in that group (with the appropriate permissions, of course) and also figure out the groups temporary location and then direct an Uber driver take you to their location.