Uber already has an option to split fare between riders, but if you want to straight-up pay for someone else's ride, you've had to use some clever tricks, like entering your friend's location and having them pretend to be you, which is awkward. Soon, there will be a better way.
The ride-hailing app has created a pilot program called "Family Profiles," but it's not limited to actual family members -- you can use it to give any other Uber user you know a free ride, as long as they accept your invitation via email to join your "Family." (And have the newest version of the app.)
Right now, this program is limited to people using Uber in a number of US cities, including Atlanta, Dallas, Phoenix, Seattle, or Mexico City, but this should have existed from the beginning.
While the feature is designed for people who want to regularly pay for other riders -- up to ten at a time. You can also use the new feature as a single-serve gift, if you invite someone to your "Family Profile," give them the ride, and then delete them. So basically this is an excellent solution for graciously wrapping up a brutally unsuccessful Tinder date: Give 'em a free ride on the way out.
Of course -- if you're accepting a ride from some dirtbag you met on a hookup app, keep in mind that joining their "Family" means they will be able to see where you go on rides you pay for.