Uber Eats is rolling out short-form TikTok-like videos to boost discovery and help restaurants showcase their dishes. The company’s global product director Awaneesh Verma told TechCrunch exclusively that the new feed is being tested in New York, San Francisco and Toronto. The company plans to launch the feed globally in the future.

With the launch, Uber Eats joins a host of other popular apps that have launched their own short-form video feeds in the wake of TikTok’s popularity, including Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat and Netflix, among others. TechCrunch also recently learned that LinkedIn has begun experimenting with its own TikTok-like feed.

The new Uber Eats short videos can be seen in the carousel in the app, including on the home screen. Once you click on a video preview, you’ll be taken to a vertical feed of short content that you can swipe through. You’ll only see content from restaurants that are close enough to be delivered to you.

Verma said the feed is designed to replicate the experience of going to a restaurant in person, seeing people preparing food and being inspired to try new things. As you browse your feed, you might see a video of an ice cream shop preparing a Nutella shake, or an Indian restaurant packaging rice separately from curry so the rice isn’t soggy when it reaches you. house.

“Early data shows that people are more confident trying new dishes and trying things they wouldn’t otherwise try,” Verma said. “Even little things like being able to see details about texture, portion size, or what’s on the plate are really inspiring to our users.”

Image Source: Uber Eats

Uber Eats notes that these videos are not ads because the company does not charge merchants to display the content.

Many restaurants operate social media accounts on apps like Instagram and TikTok to attract new customers and use short videos to showcase their food. By allowing merchants to share short clips directly within the Uber Eats app, the company is helping restaurants reach customers directly when they decide to order. As for consumers, many already use social media to discover new places and dishes to try, so Uber Eats may be hoping its new feed will encourage users to try it directly within its own app for inspiration.

Some users may not see this launch as a welcome addition to the app, as they may feel overwhelmed by the large number of different short video sources available on the popular app. While introducing short videos in entertainment and social media apps may make sense, introducing short videos in food delivery apps may not be a favorable option for some.

Verma also said that to further support merchants, the company has improved the Uber Eats Manager software and added personalized growth recommendations. The software now encourages restaurants to grow their business by promoting certain dishes or adding photos to their menu listings.

Additionally, the company will launch a new app for restaurant managers this summer designed to make it easier for restaurants to be more proactive on the go. For example, the app could alert restaurant managers that there’s a problem with their store or they might want to boost sales with new advertising.

Uber Eats announced today that it now has more than 1 million merchants on its platform globally, spanning 11,000 cities across six continents.

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