How much bigger is Uber than Lyft?

3 months ago by Joshua Fruhlinger in Features

When it comes to ridesharing services Uber ($UBER) and Lyft ($LYFT), there's no question that Uber is the larger of the two. But with some dirty laundry that aired last year and a subsequent C-level shakeup, Uber's growth slowed down, if even just a little bit. Meanwhile, Lyft, which was once condiered a small upstart, is now seen by riders as a viable — and even preferable — alternative.

In fact, the two services are almost identical at this point when it comes to pricing, coverage, and app usability. Until recently, some riders preferred Lyft in that it allowed them to tip their drivers, but Uber added that option last year. And for a while, Uber had a major business scale advantage with its rapidly growing Uber Eats, but Lyft has entered the delivery game with major deals with restaurant chains like Taco Bell for on-demand delivery.

So how do they compare when it comes to the usage and perception numbers on Facebook, the world's largest social network? There's no doubting that Uber is the larger service. Even after some trouble with investors and internal shakeups, Uber is valued at around $72 billion. Meanwhile, Lyft has a reported valuation of $11 billion. It appears that usage of the services is similarly scaled, as you'll see below.

Facebook logins

Both services, at least when they launched, encouraged users to login using their Facebook credentials. This assured a speedy user acquisition process - key to the services' growth. Lyft has since relied less on the social network - instead asking first-time signups to enter a phone number for validation - while Uber continues to offer it as a way to quickly sign up.

Regardless, by looking at Facebook app rankings for Uber and Lyft over time, we're able to see the relatively popularity of the two apps, both compared to themselves over time and then to one another.

Uber Facebook Login Rank Over Time

Lyft Faebook Login Rank Over Time

Uber vs. Lyft

The differences are stark. Uber remains a top-100 app while Lyft peaked in the 300s before it stopped encouraging Facebook logins. Today it's settled into a top-1000 app, far behind Uber.

The Future

It's clear that Uber is the winner - as of now - in the ridesharing space. In fact, Uber is in the enviable branding position of having its name used as a verb. People increasingly say "Grab an Uber to the airport" when they could mean grab a Lyft or even a taxi.

That said, with Uber's recent PR stumbles and Lyft's favorable reputation, it's clear there's room for at least two ride-sharing giants, and likely more as consumers increasingly turn to the services as alternatives to traditional taxis. Just this week, Lyft announced plans to roll out a monthly subscription "All-Access" plan for power users, one that could change revenue numbers - and growth - as we continue to see the two companies spar for customers.

Joshua Fruhlinger

Joshua has been writing about technology, lifestyle, and business for over 20 years. He's one of the original writers and editors for Engadget, and still writes a...

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