Uber Technologies was always ahead of Lyft in terms of downloads on Apple devices, but the tables turned for the first time on Sunday following a protest asking consumers to boycott Uber’s ride-hailing services.
What helped Lyft?
App Annie, a leading app analytics company, states that the number of Lyft’s average daily iOS downloads more than doubled on Sunday, compared with what it was two weeks prior, to beat out Uber, says MarketWatch. The reason for Lyft’s sudden popularity among consumers is that they are furious with Uber for undermining protests against President Donald Trump’s immigration ban.
The protests against Uber were sparked after the company tweeted on Saturday, saying that the surge pricing at John F. Kennedy Airport was turned off. Some saw this as disrupting the protest of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance. The alliance was protesting at the airport from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., and they instructed drivers not to make any passenger pickups, notes MarketWatch.
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Contrary to Uber, Lyft condemned the immigration ban and also said that over the period of the next four years it will donate $1 million to the ACLU. No such condemnation came from Uber, but it did say that its drivers will be provided legal support to help get them back into the country. Uber also said it would compensate drivers for the lost earnings.
Soon after this, a #DeleteUber hashtag was seen trending on social media.
Damage control not helping Uber
Uber made a lot of efforts to control the damage due to the #DeleteUber campaign. The company released statements clarifying that it had no intentions of breaking the strike. In another statement on Sunday, CEO Travis Kalanick called the immigrant ban “unjust” and also pledged to create a $3 million legal defense fund to help drivers with immigration and translation services.
On Android devices, the change in the number of downloads of the two apps was not significant, according to App Annie. The app analytics company added that Uber is still leading in terms of overall downloads on both platforms. It said that Lyft got the lead just for Sunday, and it was too early to say anything for Monday or beyond.
Trump signed the 90-day immigration ban on Friday. This barred people from seven countries (Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Iraq, Sudan and Yemen) from traveling to the U.S. A federal judge halted the ban temporarily on Saturday. However, many individuals and families enroute to the U.S. are still reportedly stranded at borders and in airports worldwide, notes CNET.