Business

Is Uber Positioning Itself To Be The Next Big Dating App?

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Eric Lieberman Deputy Editor

Uber may be trying to integrate a social aspect into its ride-sharing services by collecting data pertaining to riders’ friends and interests.

The transportation company filed a patent showing that it is exploring technology that would allow passengers to share rides through the UberPool feature with people who have certain similarities.

In order to do this, Uber wants to “access social media data” and then “identify common links” between customers, according to the patent published Thursday.

Uber could acquire social media data after a user chooses to connect to Facebook by logging in to their profile–a practice that is employed for several other apps, like Spotify.

Uber appears to be seeking information on users’ hometowns, hobbies, educational institutions they attend or attended, and their current or past place of employment. (RELATED: Uber Is Tracking Your Location Even After The Ride Is Over)

The goal of this prospective feature seems to be making UberPool, which allows people to share rides with complete strangers for a discounted price, less awkward or precarious. (RELATED: Uber Forced To Apologize After Surge In Pricing During Trump Protests)

The patent, though, is in the preliminary stages and could take a long time to come to fruition, if ever.

The filing comes as a surprise since Uber updated its “Community Guidelines” in December to clamp down on sexual harassment. One of the new, yet somewhat vague, rules was the banning of flirting.

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