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Button, the New York-based developer of mobile deep-linking integration tools for use in local on-demand services, announced the launch of Uber integration into third-party applications. Foursquare used the tools to add a button to its location-based social sharing application to add the ability to book an Uber ride.

When Foursquare members search for a location, Button’s tool passes location and contextual information, such as the name of a restaurant in addition to the address, to Uber. The data is used to generate a location- and customer-specific Uber car ordering button which is placed in the user’s Foursquare interface. It simplifies the user experience substantially and, BIA/Kelsey believes, represents how previously isolated applications on a mobile device can be combined to create new marketing opportunities. Uber, for example, will be providing Foursquare customers a special code for a discount on their ride. Although terms were not disclosed, the Button tool also provides Foursquare an opportunity to monetize its searches for transportation-related services.

“Within mobile, consumers are largely intolerant of ads and other elements that detract from a consumer’s journey,” Button co-founder and CEO Michael Jaconi told us. “You’re seeing an emergence [of] ‘buttons’ from all the titans of industry — seeking to match intent with its fulfillment — and many of these use cases must happen across app borders. That simplicity, that design, and the value that these app connections create is what we’ve set out build at Button.”

Mobile apps are typically “sandboxed” within the mobile operating system, preventing them from sharing any data with other apps. This adds complexity to the customer’s simplest tasks when moving between app screens. For example, iOS assigns completely separate protocols to each app running on an iPhone and all communication to and from the app must be routed through the app protocol. Button essentially scripts exchanges of data between apps, using either the local device’s internal connections or acting as an Internet intermediary between the device and multiple services to deliver integration in the user interface.

“Using Button simplified the process of integrating Uber into Foursquare. With a few lines of code we were able to create a seamless experience when requesting an Uber built directly into our app, saving us time and effort,” said Foursquare SVP of product management Noah Weiss in a release.


Button cofounder Chris Maddern will be speaking at BIA/Kelsey NOW: Rise of the Local On-Demand Economy next week in San Francisco. Join us and save $100 by using the discount code “MR100” when registering.

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