Uber Launches Virtual Hackathon For API Developers

Last August, Uber announced an API that would make it easier for third-party developers to hail a ride from within their own apps. In an effort to get more developers on board, the company has added the ability to add a request endpoint, and is running a virtual hackathon to surface new innovative ideas.

Uber’s API launched with 11 major partners, including Expensify, Hinge, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, Momento, OpenTable, Starbucks, Tempo, Time Out, TripAdvisor, TripCase, and United Airlines. But the company clearly wants to get as many developers using the API as possible as a way to increase usage among end users.

To do so, Uber’s launching a virtual hackathon on ChallengePost. While most hackathons take place over a day or even a weekend, Uber’s virtual event opens today and will run until May 17. Until then, Uber is giving developers an opportunity to submit new and interesting apps that leverage the API.

In addition to the hackathon, Uber has implemented a new feature in the API that will give developers new ways to build app integrations. With the Request endpoint, third-party app developers will be able to allow users to request a ride from within their own apps.

The new endpoint could have an impact on the way Uber rides are hailed and dispatched. Instead of an API partner sending users to the Uber app, they’ll now be able to request rides without leaving third-party apps. That could make it easier for users to request Ubers, which the company surely hopes will globally boost demand.