NEW YORK – Facebook has often been accused of copying Snapchat. Now Snapchat may be taking a page from Facebook.
Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, announced a new feature called Context Cards on Tuesday that lets users book Uber rides and restaurant reservations directly through the messaging app.
On certain Snapchat posts, users will now be able to swipe up for more related information, including maps, reviews and booking options.
If a restaurant is tagged in a post, for example, Snapchat may offer the chance to make a reservation there through OpenTable, or book a ride to it through either Uber or Lyft.
While the format of Context Cards is unique to Snapchat, the concept of integrating with third-party applications to allow for bookings is not new. Facebook Messenger already lets users book Uber rides and OpenTable reservations.
The appeal goes beyond increasing engagement for users. It also offers Snap a potential new revenue stream by positioning the app as a powerful tool for discovering events and destinations.
Evan Spiegel, Snap’s CEO and cofounder, hinted at this opportunity in an interview about the new feature.
“Anytime you can connect people with what interests them and connect them with more information and more opportunities, there’s usually a business there,” Spiegel told The Financial Times. “But it’s just so early, I think there’s a lot of work to do first.”
A spokeswoman for Snap declined to comment on whether there is any kind of revenue split in place with the booking apps.
Since going public in March, Snap has struggled to show Wall Street it can stem its losses while finding ways to boosting sales and user growth. In the second quarter, Snap’s losses nearly quadrupled to $443 million.