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RCS Messaging Progress Report: Landscape & Use

Richard Kaplan, Ytel |  

Google's new RCS, or Rich Communication Services, is being touted as the successor to the text message. If you've ever been annoyed by the limitations inherent with traditional text messaging, RCS opens up a whole realm of new promotional possibilities. This new standard in communications looks less like a text message and more like a Facebook Messenger chat bot with interactive features users will love.

RCS is text messaging for the modern day, and tech giants are actively supporting the open messaging protocol. This new standard in communications looks less like a text message, and more like a Facebook Messenger chat bot with interactive features users will love.

With nearly 80 percent of smartphone users sending text messages on a regular basis, brands are always looking for new ways to infiltrate this highly engaging messaging channel. RCS is text messaging for the modern day, and smartphone manufacturers and other tech giants are actively supporting the open messaging protocol.


Near Limitless Potential

Marketers are hailing RCS messaging as the future of communication. This new communication platform offers a wide array of benefits: 

  • A rich and flexible platform that expands on the humble SMS
  • High-resolution images, video, audio messages, group chats and typing indicators
  • RCS is touted as being completely platform agnostic
  • Works just as well on iPhone and Android
  • Available via WiFi or over cellular data
  • Becoming one of the most flexible modes of communication available in the world today

So what's the hold up for RCS to become the world's most adapted messaging platform?

Limited RCS Support (For Now)

While more than 40 carriers throughout the world and a number of manufacturers supporting RCS, there are some notable holdouts that have yet to adopt the standard. Challenges to adoption include: 

  • Apple is one of the major manufacturers who is holding on to their iMessage platform
  • While Samsung is supporting RCS, handsets don't default to use Android Messages, Google's premiere delivery mechanism
  • The users' carrier and device have to support RCS before they can utilize it

For these reasons and many more, industry analysts note that it's probably not quite ready for prime time. The real kicker is that the recipient of your message must also be using RCS standards, which currently excludes the estimated 94 million iPhone users in the U.S. alone. None of these negatives are enough to deter smart marketers, however.

The potential to sell products and services with very little friction directly from a text message has too great of an appeal to slow down the marketing experts of the world. 

Wave of the Future

Even with all of the potential speed bumps, RCS is still the best bet for a consolidated communications platform. This platform can be utilized regardless of your smartphone carrier or manufacturer or those of your intended recipient. Google is encouraging new partners to sign up through their Early Access Program to get started with the tech. The messages that are currently being sent are vetted by Google to ensure that users are not receiving messages for which they didn't opt-in.

The ability to send rich messages that contain everything from package delivery notifications to boarding passes is appealing to businesses in every vertical. The ability to do it all with custom branding and suggested actions is an added benefit for marketing and sales departments. Google is pushing acceptance of RCS because it provides Android users with a highly interactive alternative to Apple's iMessage

Marketing technology has seen a lot of shifts and upheaval as far as messaging options in the past 10 years. There are already signs that organizations are shifting away from standalone apps and bumping up the options on their mobile website instead.

Will RCS offer ways to conduct business completely within the realm of a user's preferred messaging app? We think so! Stay tuned for more on RCS, and download the eBook to learn more!

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About The Author

Richard Kaplan, Ytel

Richard leads our Carrier team and ensures that all our customers are up and running as quickly as possible, and coaches on industry best practices and compliance.


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