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Instant Analysis: Facebook, Inc. Introduces Transportation on Messenger

By Daniel Sparks – Dec 17, 2015 at 10:30AM

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The move reinforces the social king's strategy to turn Messenger into a business in its own right.

What happened?
Ride-sharing service Uber received a major endorsement from Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) this week. The social network announced it would enable users to easily request an Uber driver directly from Messenger.

With the new feature, Facebook Messenger users can tap on an address or a vehicle icon to quickly request, track, and pay for their ride, all within Messenger.

"[W]e're making transportation as simple as sending a message," Facebook product manager Seth Rosenberg said in a blog post about the new feature.

The service is still in a testing phase and is "available to select users in locations where Uber operates in the United States," Facebook said. "More countries and other transportation partners will be available soon."

Does it matter?
While the broader storyline of what Facebook is doing with moves like this is relevant to the long-term thesis for the stock, integrating commerce into Messenger isn't a new narrative. So, it doesn't really impact the investing thesis. It does, however, reinforce Facebook's existing strategy for Messenger.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained a bit of his strategy for Messenger earlier this year -- and Uber integration fits into this strategy very well. Zuckerberg said in the company's second-quarter earnings call that "[T]he long‐term bet is that by enabling people to have good organic interactions with businesses, that will end up being a massive multiplier on the value of the monetization down the road when we work on that and really focus on that in a bigger way."

To this end, some moves Facebook has already made before introducing this transportation option have been prioritization of Messenger for Facebook Pages and the rollout of Messenger's personal assistant, M.

Daniel Sparks has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Facebook. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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