If you ask anyone in my small circle of friends, which rideshare company they prefer, most of them would most likely say Uber taxi app.
Uber a household name, and has been for a while. When you think of cheap taxi innovation, the Uber ride-share is the first concept to come to mind because, simply put, it was the first. This is not the first concept Uber has brought with many feeding off the Silicon Valley company, but with any business competition is a necessary evil.
Sometime even the beast is tamed by the pretenders in Ubers case Lyft.
Recently, though, the tides seem to be changing. Lyft, Uber’s biggest competitor, has surpassed Uber in smartphone downloads for the first time – ever. How did this company that was once at the top of its game fall short? Has Uber lost its fan-base? Can it make a comeback?
Lyft Rises to the Top
Lyft has its own loyal passengers and drivers, but it has never been able to compete on the same level as Uber. According to SFist, Lyft has suffered for quite some time with a 10-to-1 margin in terms of valuation.
The company has always been the epitome of the ‘underdog.’ On Sunday, the tables seems to turn in Lyft’s favor. The company went from being #39 to #4 in a matter of a few hours as people began deleting the Uber Taxi app from the smartphones and replacing it with the rival in pink.
At first it was unclear as to why, but once news spread of Uber’s under-supported move, it became a huge push for Lyft to take the wheel (so to speak).
The Politics of It All
Over the weekend, we saw a huge surge in Lyft app downloads, as well as an alarming drop in Uber app subscribers. Many people began boycotting the famous San Francisco-based company because of its decision to ignore protests across the nation regarding President Trump’s executive order banning travelers from seven Muslim-influenced countries from entering the United States.
At JFK airport, the New York Taxi Workers Alliance (NYTWA) chose not to send any taxis to pick up passengers as a sign of protest. This was in response to refugees being detained by law enforcement once they arrived in the U.S. Uber defied the protests by sending its drivers to pick up passengers from the airport, as well as dropping their famous surge pricing to generate more business and make more money.
Persistence causes deletion of Uber taxi app
The move by Uber did not sit well with the NYTWA or the company’s faithful passengers who were also protesting the executive order at airports across the nation. The act was seen as the equivalent to hiring ‘scabs’ to work when there is a strike happening.
Although Uber claimed this wasn’t the case at all, the storm was already brewing. Not long after the news broke, the “Delete Uber” campaign took off on social media, most famously in hashtag form on Twitter as #DeleteUber. Many people, including celebrities, helped the campaign gain traction by posting and sharing it on social media.
The End of Road for Uber?
Not so fast. While this hiccup has set Uber Taxi app back a bit and they have quite a mess to clean up, it doesn’t mean they’re done for. We all know the power of social media, and if Uber plays its cards right, we may see it bounce back fairly quickly. While they’re busy working out their issues, though, Lyft will be taking full advantage of its newfound popularity.