A just-published patent application from Facebook reveals the social network may be looking to enter the ridesharing space.
The patent, titled "Event-Based Ridesharing," was filed in July 2014, and outlines a potential service whereby users who are attending the same event might be presented with various carpooling options -- not unlike UberPool. For instance, an attendee could be prompted to designate whether they’d like to drive or share a ride, how many passengers they can take, how many friends they’d like to invite and where they plan to depart from.
The potential feature would exist within Facebook’s Events feature, which is used by 500 million people each month, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on an earnings call earlier this week.
Suggestions about who users might be prompted to ride with could depend on their mutual friends, interests and, of course, location. If users opt to share rides, per the patent, they could track one another’s locations as they’re en route and glimpse estimated pickup times.
Users could also agree to take the same type of public transportation together, per Quartz, which was first to report the patent publication.
This is not the first time that Facebook has dipped its toes into the ridesharing space. In December, Facebook said that U.S. users could reserve an Uber directly via the Facebook Messenger smartphone app. On its earnings call, Zuckerberg also said that Facebook plans to integrate more transportation platforms within Messenger in 2016.