Uber introduced a new app feature called “Explore” that allows customers to buy concert tickets, book restaurant reservations, and get discounted rides to popular destinations. It’s the latest attempt by the ride-share company to turn its app into more of a lifestyle product.
Uber has always had aspirations outside of just being a taxi broker. But as the company shifts more into food and grocery delivery, it can be hard to remember its roots as a product used by people to move around cities. Now, Uber wants to remind its customers of that legacy, while also bringing more Yelp-style features into its app.
Starting March 1st, Uber customers in over a dozen North American cities will see the new Explore tab when they open the app. Tapping on it brings up a variety of live event and restaurant recommendations that they are encouraged to check out. And if this sounds a lot like Yelp, it’s by design: restaurant reservations are handled through a Yelp integration in the app, and Uber is even featuring that company’s five-star ratings for restaurants in Explore.
Another integration, with PredictHQ, brings in live event recommendations. And if customers need a ride to any of these destinations, Uber is offering a discount: 15 percent (up to $10) off rides to locations included in Explore. An Uber spokesperson declined to share which third-party ticket sellers it was working with to power that part of the Explore tab.
Ultimately, Uber sees it as a way of enhancing its preexisting product. “We’ve built Uber Explore to take our customers beyond the ride,” Adib Roumani, product lead for Uber Explore, said in a statement. The company clearly sees an opportunity to enhance its core product, especially as more people — such as business travelers — are returning to ride-hailing.