platforms

Uber’s getting in on in-app advertising

Marriott is the first brand to test the feature.
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Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

· less than 3 min read

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It’s a feeling we can all relate to: You’re stranded, you’re tired, you’ve called an Uber, and you’re waiting. No, that experience won’t improve much, but now you can distract yourself with ads!

Uber told Marketing Brew it started testing in-app advertising last week, an update first reported by Business Insider. Ads show up after a rider has requested a trip, meaning they’ll only be seen every time a traveler is checking their driver's location or their own ride’s progress.

  • The inventory will first be visible to a random, small percentage of riders in the US, Uber told us (BI said 25% of users will see ads).
  • Marriott is the first brand to work with Uber on the product, and other brands are lining up.
  • The rideshare company said it will test how people interact with the ads.

In-app advertising isn’t foreign to Uber’s other brands—Postmates and Uber Eats offer inventory to restaurants on their platforms—but it is a change of heart for the main brand. Uber’s cofounder and previous CEO,Travis Kalanick, was against the idea of in-app advertising, fearing that pop-up ads would “sully the user experience,” a former Uber employee told BI.

But time is money, and Uber riders have the time.—RB

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