Menu
Sidecar testing new trending tool for activity hot spots

Sidecar testing new trending tool for activity hot spots

The feature would show users heavily trafficked areas for rides

Sidecar is testing a feature to show popular areas of activity within its service.

Sidecar is testing a feature to show popular areas of activity within its service.

Sidecar is testing a feature to show the "trending" destinations of the ride-sharing apps' users.

"Trend Spot," as the feature is called, is nearing launch among a select group of early users. Should it roll out more broadly, it could help Sidecar distinguish itself from of a growing array of competitive apps like Uber and Lyft that are attracting attention from smartphone users, investors and regulators alike. Sidecar's paid drivers, who are also app users, are connected with people who need rides in the 10 cities where the service operates.

Sidecar declined to comment about the feature other than to say it was one of several programs the company is testing. An early invitation notice for the tool said that it would make it easy to see which locations in a person's city are trending, and where that person's friends are going.

Sidecar lets its users invite their friends to the service from their device's native contact list, but does not require that users import their contact lists, so it is not clear how it will determine with whom a user is friends on the service.

"Trend Spot keeps tabs on all the trending destinations in the city based on Sidecar rides," the company said in a notice describing the program. "We'll even tell you which locations are trending among your own friends," Sidecar said.

It might seem to be a curious way to use a mobile ride-hailing service. Imagine opening the app and seeing the message, "Sidecar is delivering lots of people to Fenway Park right now -- must be a happening spot!" Or, "Three of your friends just arrived at a bar near the White House!"

Would anyone make plans, or change existing plans, based on that kind of information?

Maybe it wouldn't matter. Trends of who's going where, in the aggregate, could be an interesting way of discovering things you didn't know were happening in your city, much like trending information on Twitter sometimes leads people to discover news stories, said Arun Sundararajan, professor of information, operations and management sciences at New York University, who studies digital economics.

If Sidecar were to launch the program more broadly, it could yield some positive surprises, he said. "We have so many 'signals' these days based on news and information, from 'cyberspace,' and so few about our physical space, so one never knows what people might find interesting, or how it might change our behaviors," he said.

Trend Spot's inception comes as Sidecar, which started in San Francisco in 2012, has introduced some new ways to use its service. The company recently remodeled its app to let people more easily pick rides based on a number of variables like price, driver ratings and the type of vehicle.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags social mediamobileinternetsocial networkingmobile applicationsconsumer electronicsInternet-based applications and servicesMobile OSesUberSideCarLyft

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel

Reseller News honoured the leading female front runners of the New Zealand channel at the 2018 Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) in Auckland. The awards honoured standout individuals across seven categories, spanning Entrepreneur; Innovation; Rising Star; Shining Star; Community; Technical and Achievement.

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel
Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners

Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners

Microsoft honoured leading partners across the channel following a year of customer innovation and market growth in New Zealand. The 2018 Microsoft Partner Awards recognised excellence within the context of the end-user, spanning a host of emerging and established providers.

Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners
Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch

Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch

Introducing the Reseller News Innovation Awards, launched to the channel at the 2018 Judges’ Lunch in Auckland. With more than 70 judges now part of the voting panel, the new-look awards will reflect the changing dynamics of the channel, recognising excellence across customer value and innovation - spanning start-ups, partners, distributors and vendors.

Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch
Show Comments